WAYNESVILLE – Wilmington marched into Waynesville Tuesday night and toppled the Spartan’s six-game winning streak, 45-44, thanks to a Ke’Asia Robinson wide-open layup with 7.9 seconds left.
Following the layup, three consecutive timeouts between the two teams and a seemingly uncalled over-and-back, Waynesville’s desperation 30-footer did not fall.
Wilmington’s record gets a bump to 3-5. They remain 1-2 in SBAAC play, with a matchup at New Richmond Thursday and a non-league game against Little Miami looming ahead on the weekend.
Waynesville drops to 7-2, with its other loss coming from a November bout with fellow Clinton County school East Clinton.
Murphy’s gravity on the ‘Cane’s final play came after scoring 14 of her joint-game-high 16 points in the second half. Elle Martin (13) and Caroline Diels (9) pitched in as well on offense.
Game-winning layup included, Robinson threw in four points and Aidynne Tippet hit a three to round out the scoring for Wilmington.
After losing three of their five games by a combined eight points, the Hurricane finally got a close game to end in their favor.
“The difference was that we finished. We made our free throws … we were 8 for 10. We finished our layups and that’s huge for us,” head coach Zach Williams said after the game.
Until the final buzzer, there was no clear favorite. Both teams failed to put together a game-defining run, and whenever it seemed like one was about to begin, the other team quickly answered and resumed the stalemate.
After going ahead 40-36 in the middle of the fourth quarter and bringing the home crowd into it, Waynesville lost Murphy in the half-court and she buried her second three, bringing her team back within one and leading to a Spartan timeout.
During the stoppage, Spartans coach and Wilmington College graduate Tim Gabbard let the whole gym know that Murphy was Wilmington’s “only shooter.” From there, the teams traded baskets the rest of the way and the threat of Murphy’s shooting ability proved to be the difference in the perfectly executed final play.
“The big thing we talked about this week was how everything matters. Every possession matters. The girls came through and they finished. It was the biggest difference,” Williams said.
In the JV contest, Waynesville went wire-to-wire, winning by a final score of 48-16. Wilmington scored six of its 16 points in the final frame. Lilly Trentman had six points for Wilmington while Brynn Conley chipped in with five points.
Dec 13, 2022
@Waynesville High School
Wilmington 45, Waynesville 44
(45) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Robinson 2-0-0-4 Tippett 1-1-0-3 Conley 0-0-0-0 C. Diels 1-1-6-9 Martin 5-1-2-13 Murphy 7-2-0-16 Walker 0-0-0-0 TOTALS 16-5-8-45
(44) WAYNESVILLE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Elliott 0-0-0-0 Whitaker 3-0-3-9 Greely 0-0-0-0 See 2-0-1-5 Berrey 5-4-2-16 Bailey 3-0-0-6 Stupp 1-0-0-2 Stephenson 3-0-0-6 TOTALS 17-4-3-44
FIELD GOALS: W (19-36) Martin 5-7, Murphy 7-12
3 PT FIELD GOALS: W (5-14)
FREE THROWS: W (8-10) C. Diels 6-8, Martin 2-2
REBOUNDS: W-24 (Robinson 7, C. Diels 5, Murphy 3, Tippett 3, Walker 2)
STEALS: W-6 (Tippett 2, Murphy 2, C. Diels 2)
BLOCKED SHOTS: W-1 (Conley 1)
Matt Butcher covers high school basketball for the News Journal. He is a student at Ohio University.