ADAMS TOWNSHIP — Wilmington’s Cam Coomer made sure head coach Matt Kramer won’t soon forget his first matchup with the rival Clinton-Massie Falcons.
Coomer’s pull-up three-pointer from 23 feet away with 18 seconds left gave Wilmington a lead it would not relinquish Friday night in a 59-56 win over the Falcons.
The WHS victory capped an emotional night as the court was dedicated in honor of former head coach Brian Mudd who passed earlier this year from cancer. The Falcons will now play at Brian P. Mudd Court.
“This is my first experience in this and I have a lot of respect for their players and the way they conduct themselves,” Kramer said. “We executed just well enough to win.”
Clinton-Massie’s Tate Olberding gave the Falcons the lead with 50 seconds left with an up-and-under shot from the left block.
Trailing 56-54, Coomer, who led all scorers with 28 points, casually pulled up from NBA three-point range and drilled the go-ahead basket.
“Cam has been making shots and we isolated him,” Kramer said. “He has a two-way go there. He has the opportunity to drive the ball or he has the opportunity to pull up and take that shot. He got the look that he wanted and that’s a shot that he makes.”
The Falcons inbounded with 11.3 left, 84 feet away from a potential tying basket. Having committed only three second-half fouls, Wilmington fouled twice to burn some time as the Falcons brought the ball up the floor.
“We were trying to get the ball into our playmaker’s hands, Brendan Lamb, and let him go to the basket,” CM head coach Todd Cook said. “Either he initiates contact and tries to finish at the basket or we hit Tate Olberding down low.
“With only three fouls left, they were able to milk the clock a little bit. We were so far away (from the CM basket), that we weren’t able to run too many side-out plays that we were used to in that area.”
Massie (0-3 overall, 0-2 SBC-American) inbounded the ball from halfcourt with 7.7 seconds left. They got the ball into the hands of Lamb, but he was unable to get a clean shot away. Wilmington’s Chris Custis grabbed the loose ball and was fouled with 1.9 seconds left.
“(Wilmington) did a good job taking away what we were trying to do late in the game,” Cook said.
Custis drained both free throws to give Wilmington a 59-56 advantage. The Falcons inbounded the ball to Carter Euton, whose half-court heave at the buzzer nearly found its mark. It bounced off the front of the rim, and the Hurricane escaped with the win.
In addition to Coomer’s 28 points, Matt Butcher also scored in double figures for the Hurricane. He had 17 points and seven rebounds.
Lamb led the Falcons with 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Nate Baker had 14 points and nine rebounds. Clinton-Massie outrebounded Wilmington 41-26 and made four more field goals.
However, Wilmington (3-1, 2-0) made five more three-point field goals and six more free throws.
“We didn’t get to the free-throw line as much as we wanted,” Cook said. “Whenever you have 10 attempts to their 21, it’s a little bit of a difference there. I thought we attacked well, even against the zone. (Wilmington) did a good job capitalizing on our mistakes.
“The small things we preach every day, we’re getting better on. We have to do a good job to win games like this against good opponents.”
Kramer credited his players with continuing to improve in his new system.
“It’s a new program and the guys are still learning,” Kramer said. “We’re so rough around the edges still. We were a rebound away a couple different times from putting the game away. Massie’s tough. They’re well-coached.
“This game means a lot to them, and it means a lot to our kids, too.”
Friday, Dec. 13, 2019
At Clinton-Massie High School
Wilmington 59, Clinton-Massie 56
(59) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Matt Butcher 6-3-2-17, Cam Coomer 9-4-6-28, Chris Custis 1-0-4-6, Kellen Baltazar 1-1-0-3, Brady Vilvens 2-1-0-5. TOTALS 19-9-12-59.
(56) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jordan Redman 1-0-0-2, Carter Euton 2-2-0-6, Brendan Lamb 8-0-1-17, Austin Faucett 3-2-1-9, Tate Olberding 4-0-0-8, Nate Baker 5-0-4-14. TOTALS 23-4-6-56.
FIELD GOALS: W 19/46 (Coomer 9/12, Butcher 6/16); CM 23/56 (Lamb 8/15, Baker 5/11, Olberding 4/8)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: W 9/21 (Coomer 4/6, Butcher 3/7); CM 4/18 (Faucett 2/6)
FREE THROWS: W 12/22 (Coomer 6/7, Custis 4/9); CM 6/10 (Baker 4/6)
REBOUNDS: W 26 (Custis 7, Butcher 7); CM 41 (Lamb 9, Baker 9, Euton 7, Faucett 5, Olberding 5)
ASSISTS: W 9; CM 10 (Lamb 3, Olberding 3)
STEALS: W 9 (Custis 3); CM 5
BLOCKED SHOTS: W 3 (Vilvens 2, Custis 1); CM 3
TURNOVERS: W 11; CM 17
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.