NEW RICHMOND – In a battle of the unbeaten in the SBAAC American Division, the New Richmond Lions were too much for the Wilmington Hurricane Friday night in a 71-59 victory.
The Lions improve to 4-0 in the conference, while Wilmington falls to 3-1.
The Hurricane jumped out to a 20-16 lead at the first quarter break. New Richmond took control in the second period with a 20-10 advantage and held a 36-30 lead going into the locker room. The Lions claimed the third quarter, 15-10, building a 51-40 lead after three quarters.
New Richmond had four players in double figures, with Evan Ispardo leading the way with 18 points, non-starter Bo Snider followed with 14, Justin Ackerman had 13 and John Ispardo added 10.
Wilmington’s Cam Coomer led all scorers with 37 points. He had 17 in the first half, nine points in the third, and 11 of Wilmington 19 points in the final period. Chris Custis had 10 points.
Matt Butcher, plagued by foul trouble, was held to just seven points, including a pair of first quarter three-pointers.
For Wilmington head coach Matt Kramer, it boiled down to one key factor — rebounding or in Wilmington’s case it was a lack of it.
“We just don’t rebound the basketball,” Kramer said. “We had two evenly matched teams and they (New Richmond) got at least 10 more shots than we did because they controlled the boards. In a key point of the game, we were in control (22-16), but we miss a shot, they rebound and get a three, and then we coughed it up they came down and scored. Then in a scramble for a loose ball, Butcher gets his third foul. It was a game-changing sequence. We just let them take control of the game because we could not rebound the ball at crucial times.”
Kramer said his team, while showing a good overall effort, committed some crucial turnovers which came back to haunt them.
“We only turned it over 11 times, but they came at crucial spots in the game, and we let them come back at us,” the WHS coach said. “We must do a better job on the floor.
“Tonight the key word for us was disappointed. We know we are a better team than this and we have got to learn to play much better.”
Wilmington will have a busy week ahead, hosting Beavercreek Tuesday, followed by a road game at Goshen Friday, and then returning home to face Lebanon Saturday.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.