WILMINGTON — Wilmington closed out its SBAAC American Division schedule Tuesday on a winning note, turning back Goshen 85-78 at Fred Summers Court.
With one regular season game remaining, the Hurricane is 8-11 on the season.
Wilmington had four of its five starters in double figures, with Matt Butcher leading the Hurricane attack with 33 points. He was on fire from beyond the arc, nailing all nine of his three-point shots.
Cam Coomer added 17 (12 in the second half), while Brandon Glass had 14 and Brady Vilvens scored 13.
The visiting Warriors mounted a comeback in the final period and got the deficit to seven points, 78-71, before Wilmington pulled away with the win.
Wilmington converted nine of ten free throw attempt in the fourth period to secure the victory.
“This was, by far, our best game of the year,” WHS head coach Mat Kramer said. “From an offensive standpoint, this is our vision of what we want to become. Granted, we have two main players that do the lions share of our scoring, but for these other kids to step up, this is what we need. Matt Butcher was awesome tonight, hot as fire and hit shots all over the floor.
“Cam (Coomer) was very unselfish tonight. He took more delight in making great passes and giving his teammates the ball. I think he enjoyed Matt getting the 33 points and leading our attack. He averages 20 point per game, but tonight he knew his value was in passing the ball to the other guys and getting them to score.”
The Hurricane coach knew it was a good omen when someone other than Butcher or Coomer took the first shot — it was Glass who nailed a trey from the right wing on the opening possession.
“We told the kids in practice not to pass up a good shot, let it fly and Brandon’s shot just seemed to take the weight off our shoulders. We needed this kind of effort to get us back on track,” said Kramer.
After a less than solid performance against New Richmond last Friday, the Hurricane seemed to play with confidence on this night.
“Confidence,” he said. “We seemed to play with confidence and we were consistent. Scoring 24 in the opening quarter, then a little step backward in the second, we came back strong in the third and fourth quarters.”
Wilmington burned the nets at Summers Court from long-distance, connecting on 15 three-pointers on the night.
After jumping out to a 24-11 lead at the quarter break, WHS was outscored 18-14 in the second, making it a 38-29 contest at halftime.
In the third period, Wilmington put 21 on the board to Goshen’s 17, making it a 59-46 lead for the ‘Cane after three periods.
Collin Barker drilled a jumper from the right elbow to stretch Wilmington’s lead to 64-50 but the Warriors mounted their comeback, outscoring the Hurricane 21-14, but could not get any closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Wilmington has a make-up game versus non-league rival Washington Thursday night at Fred Summers Court. They will play a yet to be determined opponent from the National Conference in the Bud Phillips Scholarship game on Friday night.
Feb 11, 2020
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 85 Goshen 78
(78) GOSHEN (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ashcraft 0-4-1-13, Slusher 4-0-4-12, Hice 5-0-6-13, Webster 0-2-0-6, Moore 1-2-0-8, Harris 1-2-0-8, Adams 7-0-1-15.. Team Totals: 18-10-12-78.
(85) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Butcher 3-9-0-33, Coomer 4-1-6-17, Jones 0-1-0-3, Custis 0-0-0-0, Bernhardt 0-0-0-0, Glass 3-2-2-14, Vilvens 4-1-2-13, Blessing 0-0-0-0, Miller 0-0-0-0.
Barker 1-1-0-5. Team Totals : 15-15-10-85.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.