WILMINGTON — It was a battle of orange and black as the Wilmington Hurricane welcomed the Beavercreek Beavers to Fred Summers Court Tuesday in a non-conference boys basketball game.
The Beavers, members of the very tough Greater Western Ohio Conference, brought in a tough, seasoned team to battle the Hurricane. The physicality displayed by the Beavers and a huge third quarter propelled them to a 66-42 win.
Wilmington Coach Matt Kramer was impressed with his opponent.
“That program is in a different place than us physically right now,” said Kramer. “That’s a good team with some big strong kids.”
Matthew Butcher scored four points in the first minute of play to give the Hurricane an early lead. Hurricane turnovers and some balanced Beaver scoring erased the Hurricane advantage, and allowed BHS to open a five-point lead at the 1:30 mark of the quarter.
A Yousef Saleh lay-in for the Beavers prompted a timeout from Kramer to stop the momentum. The timeout immediately paid dividends, as Cameron Coomer had six quick points for the ‘Cane to put them back up one 13-12 at the end of the first.
“We played a really good first 14 minutes of basketball. We fought them really hard,” said Kramer.
Saleh’s quickness on both ends of the floor gave the ‘Cane problems all night long. His tenacious defense led to several easy buckets for the Beavers. Beaver coach Steve Pittman commented on his point guard’s play.
“He had a great game against Trotwood, but then was just a little off against Miamisburg. He came in tonight focused,” said Pittman.
Saleh also was able to penetrate the WHS defense and finish on multiple occasions in the quarter. This allowed the Beavers to open their largest lead, 23-16. A switch to a zone by Kramer helped spark a ‘Cane run, that included a long three from Butcher. But again the strength and athleticism of Saleh came into play as the Beavercreek senior finished the half with a lay-in that gave him 10 points in the quarter and the Beavers a 32-22 lead at the break.
A 7-0 run by the Beavers, highlighted by a three from Siloam Baldwin, broke things wide open as action began in the second half. Adam Duvall’s third three-point bucket of the night stretched the Beaver lead to 20, at the 4:00 mark of the third. The Hurricane were outscored 22-4 in the quarter, and what looked to be a manageable deficit at the half, now stood at 28 points, 54-26.
“They took Cam and Butcher away from us in the third quarter and it shook our confidence,” Kramer said. “Our offense affected our defense in adverse way.”
Saleh finished the night with a game high 20 points for the Beavers, while Duvall also was in double digits with 15. Butcher led the Hurricane with 17 points, while Cameron Coomer added 10.
The Beavers even their record at 6-6. Beavercreek travels to Lebanon Friday while the Hurricane (4-7) travels to Goshen Friday.
“I love the guys in that locker room,” said Kramer. “They keep coming back and want to be coached and get better and that’s all I can ask of them.”
In the junior varsity contest, Wilmington came away with a 64-59 win. Luke Blessing led the Hurricane with 21 points. Pierce Doyle had a game-high 32 for Beavercreek.
Jan 14, 2020
@Fred Summers Court
Beavercreek 66 Wilmington 42
(66) BEAVERCREEK (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Vest 1-0-3-5 Hymes 0-0-0-0 Saleh 9-1-1-20 Aga 0-0-0-0 Baldwin 3-1-1-8 Herbart 3-0-0-6 Harris-Strayhorn 1-0-0-2 Doyle 0-0-0-0 Duvall 6-3-0-15 Grant 1-0-2-4 Phillips 3-0-0-6 Putnam 0-0-0-0 TOTALS 27-5-7/9-66
(42) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Butcher 6-3-2-17 Coomer 2-1-5-10 Jones 0-0-0-0 Custis 0-0-0-0 Vilvens 0-0-1-1 Baltazar 0-0-0-0 Griffith 0-0-0-0 Bernhardt 0-0-2-2 Glass 2-2-0-6 Warix 0-0-0-0 Blessing 0-0-0-0 Barker 2-2-0-6. TOTALS 12-8-10/12-42
Brian Georges covers high school sports for the News Journal.