WILMINGTON — Wilmington and Clinton-Massie played a very sluggish first half, but the Hurricane erupted with a 27-16 fourth quarter effort, en route to a 57-48 win over the Falcons Friday night at Fred Summers Court.
The victory gives Wilmington a 6-10 overall record.
“As you could tell from the first half, they (Clinton-Massie) present match-up problems for us … tough to rebound the ball and our shots were not falling,” said Hurricane basketball coach Matt Kramer.
Both teams struggled early, as evidenced by the first quarter score of 4-2 in favor of Wilmington. The Hurricane held a 21-16 halftime lead, thanks to a 17-14 margin in the second quarter. The Falcons came out of the locker room and took the lead with a 16- 9 effort in the third. It was Massie 32 Wilmington 30 going to the fourth.
“To me, the turning point was when we ratcheted up our defense and got much better scoring opportunities and better looks at the basket,” Kramer said.
The key factor for Wilmington was at the free throw line, as they connected on 14 of 15 free throws. Cam Coomer, who led the WHS attack with 25 points (all in the second half), was automatic at the line, going 9 for 9 in the final period. Chris Custis also sank several crucial free throws, converting five of his six chances, and finished with 12 points.
“We can look at the (Miami) Trace game and Lebanon as games where making free throws could have given us the win. Seems as though it has been an issue for us at times, but not tonight,” said Kramer.
Custis, who often matches up against the opponents top offensive player, drew praises from his coach.
“Chris is our top defender and rebounds the basketball well. He gives us a great effort out there every night and handles the role of being our ‘unsung-hero’ but I will certainly sing his praises for what he does,” said Kramer.
Meanwhile, Todd Cook was pleased with his squad’s effort, after a dismal first quarter.
“These kids play with a lot of heart and they do that every night. We just got off to a bad start — seven turnovers right off the bat to open the game,” said Cook. “We committed way too many turnovers. I think it had to be at least 25 and you cannot win giving it away that many times. We missed way too many layups and then get lax on defense and give up four easy layups on the other end. We need to do better.”
Nate Baker put the Falcons back in the game and helped key the Falcon comeback. “Nate is such a competitor. He really gave us a strong effort (12 in the second quarter),” said Cook.
Baker paced the Falcon attack with 19 and teammate Tate Olberding added 12 for Clinton-Massie.
Wilmington was victorious in the junior varsity contest, 63-31. Luke Roy’s squad is now 8-7 overall, and has won seven of their last nine games. Cole Bernhardt led the way with 16 points and had eight blocked shots.
Jan 31, 2020
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 57 Clinton-Massie 48
(48) CLINTON-MASSIE (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Euton 1-0-2-4, Lamb 3-0-2-8, Faucett 0-0-2-2, Olberding 4-1-1-12, Baker 9-0-1-19, Meyers 0-1-0-3. Team Totals 17-2-8-48.
(57) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Butcher 1-2-0-8, Coomer 5-2-9-25, Jones 0-0-0-0, Custis 2-1-5-12, Vilvens 2-1-1-8, Blessing 0-0-0-0, Glass 1-0-0-2, Barker 1-0-0-2. Team Totals: 12-6-15-57.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.