In a pivotal game Friday night at Fred Summers Court, the New Richmond Lions defeated Wilmington, 72-53, to claim the SBAAC American Division title.
Going in to the contest, Wilmington (now 7-11 overall) was in a must-win situation to keep its slim hopes alive for a possible co-title, with one game pending versus Goshen Tuesday.
New Richmond scored the first six points of the contest and held a 17-13 lead at the first quarter break. The two teams matched the scoring in the second period, as the Lions took a 34-26 lead at the intermission.
Wilmington, by virtue of a 19-11 run in the third period, eventually tied the score at 45-45, before NR pulled ahead at the end of the period, 47-45.
In the fourth, Wilmington struggled offensively and the Lions capitalized on the Hurricane misfortune, with a 25-8 margin in the period, to put the game on ice.
Wilmington’s scoring was comprised of the one-two combination of Cam Coomer with 27 points and Matt Butcher’s 21 points.
Brady Vilvens had a three-pointer and Brandon Glass accounted for the other Hurricane field goal. Wilmington head coach Matt Kramer was disappointed in the lack of offense from the supporting cast.
“Unfortunately, the reality is we had nearly 50 points from two players,” said Kramer. “We must have better production from others, in order to be successful.”
His team expended a lot of energy after falling behind by double digits early in the second half and Kramer knew it would take its toll on the squad, as the game wore on.
“It took a lot of energy for us to recover and make the come back from that big deficit and we just needed time to get our breath and see what’s left in the tank,” he said. “We just did not have enough fire power to stay with them in that final quarter.”
Forced to foul in the final period, Wilmington put the Lions at the free throw line and New Richmond responded, connecting on 12 of 14 attempts from the charity stripe.
For the game, New Richmond converted 17 of their 21 total free throws attempted. Wilmington was nine for nine from the line.
New Richmond was led in scoring by Kadin Pollard with 22 points, while freshman Evan Ipsaro added 21.
Wilmington returns to Fred Summers Court twice next week, hosting Goshen in conference action Tuesday and the make-up contest with non-league opponent Washington Senior Thursday night.
Feb 7, 2020
@Fred Summers Court
New Richmond 72 Wilmington 53
(72) NEW RICHMOND (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Hess 4-1-0-11, Pollard 7-0-10-22, Lansaw 0-1-2-5, E. Ipsaro 3-4-3-21, Snider 1-0-0-2, J. Ipsaro 1-0-2-4, Ackerman 1-1-0-5. Team Totals: 17-7-17-72.
(53) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Butcher 3-4-3-21, Coomer 6-3-6-27, Custis 0-0-0-0, Vilvens 0-1-0-3, Jones 0-0-0-0, Barker 0-0-0-0, Glass 1-0-0-2, Baltazar 0-0-0-0. Warix 0-0-0-0, Griffith 0-0-0-0, Berhardt 0-0-0-0. Team Totals: 10-8-9-53
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.