XENIA — Playing perhaps its best defense of the season, Wilmington defeated Xenia 45-32 Tuesday in a non-league girls basketball game at Xenia High School.
“Their record does not indicate the type of team they really are,” said WHS head coach Mark Short after the contest. “They compete in a very strong league — the GWOC (Greater Western Ohio Conference) is very tough. This is a good victory for us. It may have been the best defensive effort we’ve had in the second half, and the 2-2-1 was the real difference maker for us tonight. To hold them to just 10 points in the second half was good on our part. I’m really happy with the way we turned up the defense in the second half.”
The Lady Hurricane outscored the Lady Buccaneers 24-10 in the second half.
WHS closes out the 2015 portion of the basketball season with a 6-5 overall record. The loss drops the Lady Bucs to 1-10.
Mya Jackson’s 13 led the Lady ’Cane in scoring. Also in double figures was Kate Jamiel with 10 points, including a pair of treys. It was a balanced effort for WHS as Leah Frisco followed nine, Faith Sanderson scored seven points and Suzannah Johns added six.
Wilmington had taken a 12-7 first quarter lead, but the Lady Bucs turned things around in the second period with a 15-9 advantage, giving the home team a one point cushion, 22-21, at halftime.
In the third quarter, Short’s squad came out of the locker room with an 18-5 effort which propelled them to a 39-27 lead after three periods. Helping ignite the Hurricane charge was Jackson, a freshman, with eight of her 13 points in the quarter, including a rainbow trey from deep in the corner just before the third quarter horn sounded.
“That was certainly a big shot for us, but we jelled as a team that entire period and we quit making the silly fouls which really hurt us in the first half,” said Short. “We took better care of the ball, and the 2-2-1 forced them (Xenia) into turnovers which we were able to convert into scores on our end.”
What does concern Short and the coaching staff is the pattern of a slow start, forcing them to constantly battle back from a first half deficit.
“We have to come out with the right offensive approach,” Short said. “It seems like our best efforts always are in the second half. We’re sluggish out of the gate, then we catch fire in the second half. Sooner or later, it’s gonna cost us a victory. We have to find a way to be more consistent in all four quarters.”
Awaiting Wilmington on the 2016 schedule is a matchup with former SWOC rival Little Miami, a school that Short is certainly familiar with, having graduated from there, and later enjoyed a successful campaign as the head coach of the Lady Panthers during the early 2000s. WHS travels to Little Miami on Monday.
“Sure, it’s certainly a rival from the past and I know them quite well but it’s about us,” said Short. “We just need to keep on getting better and showing improvement and keep our momentum going after the New Year.”
Dec 29, 2015
@Xenia High School
Wilmington 45 Xenia 32
(45) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jackson 3-1-4-13, S. Johns 2-0-2-6, Sanderson 3-0-1-7, Jamiel 2-2-0-10, Frisco 4-0-1-9. Team Totals: 14-3-8-45.
(32) XENIA (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Burnett 3-0-0-6, Welsh 2-0-2-6, Morton 1-0-2-4, Stevens 0-2-1-7, Wallace 4-0-1-9. Team Totals: 10-2-6-32.
Follow Bill on Twitter @learjet.