WILMINGTON — For the better part of three quarters, Wilmington gave the Alter Knights all they could handle, but the Hurricane went cold in the fourth quarter and the Knights claimed a 68-64 win Tuesday night at Fred Summers Court.
Fueled by a barrage of three pointers (15 in the first half), Wilmington built a 34-29 halftime lead. The Knights came out of the locker room with a 9-3 run to start the third to take a 38-37 lead.
Matt Butcher beat the third quarter buzzer with a trey from the left arc, putting the ‘Cane in front, 53-52 going into the final period.
The Knights were too strong inside the paint and Wilmington could not contain them and Alter maintained the lead for much of the final period.
Luke Blessing’s trey pulled the ‘Cane within three in the final minute, 67-64, but Matt Butcher’s long range three from the right wing fell short, and the Knights sealed the win.
“I felt we really played well and competed. We just let it slip away,” said a dejected Todd Cook, serving as the Hurricane’s acting head coach in the absence of Matt Kramer, forced to quarantine away from the team.
In a losing cause, Butcher had 20 points, followed by Brandon Glass with 19. The two combined for 11 three-pointers with Glass netting six. Luke Blessing added 17 for the Hurricane, including four treys.
AJ Leen paced the Alter attack with 21 points, 11 in the second half. Jacob Conner added 14 for Alter with 10 of those coming in the first half.
Wilmington held a 21-17 first quarter lead on the strength of six three-pointers (three by Butcher and a pair from Glass). In the second quarter, Wilmington maintained the lead, with a 13-12 margin in the quarter, for the five point lead of 34-29 at halftime.
Wilmington will return to SBAAC American Division action Friday night, hosting New Richmond at Fred Summers Court.
Dec 15, 2020
@Fred Summers Court
Alter 68 Wilmington 64
(68) ALTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Chew 3-0-1-7, Ruffalo 5-0-0-10, Geisel 2-1-0-7, Shane 4-0-1-9, Leen 9-3-0-21, Conner 5-0-4-14.
(64) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Butcher 6-5-3-20, Glass 6-6-1-19, France 1-1-2-5, Baltazer 1-1-0-3, Bernhardt 0-0-0-0, Blessing 6-4-1-17, Vilvens 0-0-0-0.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.