WILMINGTON — On a night when Wilmington High School honored its departing senior basketball players, the Goshen Warriors had other ideas, connecting on 10 three pointers en route to a 56-39 SBAAC American Division win.
At Fred Summers Court, the teams played to a 14-14 standoff in the first quarter then the Warriors led 29-27 at the intermission.
Things unraveled for Wilmington in the third period, as they managed just one two-point field goal and one free throw, while Goshen reeled off 12 in the period to take a 41-30 lead. Goshen sealed the victory with a 9-4 run to start the final period, extending the lead to 50-34 midway thru the fourth quarter.
Goshen landed three players in double figures, with Ashton Harris leading the way with 14 points (including four three-pointers).
Wilmington’s leading scorers were Brandon Glass and Brady Vilvens with nine points each.
In his post-game remarks, WHS head coach Matt Kramer focused on his group of seniors. “It was very difficult in that locker room, ” Kramer said. “Gabe Reeder who provided so much leadership, especially off the floor. He has been a big asset to us. Brady Vilvens, who thrilled us so many times with his dunking ability and hard-nosed approach on the floor. Brandon Glass, who hit some big shots for us tonight (a trio of three-pointers) and gave us great moments many times this season.
“Kendal France, who is really a football player first, but he kept plugging away and eventually worked his way into the starting line-up. He started five games late in the season.”
Kramer then reflected on the undisputed leader of the team, Matthew Butcher.
“He lettered here as a freshman and worked very hard in the off-season and his last year’s here blossomed. He bought into a new system when I came here and, like I told the kids, in the games we won, it was because Matt provided excellent leadership. It’s just hard saying goodbye to this group.”
Not being one to make excuses, Kramer did point out a key factor for his team regarding game preparation.
“In the past 17 days, we have actually had just one real practice. Last night was a tough tournament game versus Hamilton Ross, then we turn back around 24 hours later and face Goshen. They hit us with a 2-3 zone and we could not adapt,” the coach said.
Like all coaches this season, Kramer was frustrated at times with covid and the ensuring quarantine issues.
“We were jelling, and in a 10-game span, won 7 of 10 games, but other circumstances developed and hurt our ability to keep momentum going,” he said.
Wilmington will travel to Goshen for its regular-season finale on Thursday. Tipoff for the varsity game is 6:30 p.m.
Feb 23, 2021
@Fred Summers Court
Goshen 56 Wilmington 39
(56) GOSHEN (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Brewer 1-1-0-5, Webster 3-2-0-12, Stroud 1-0-0-2, Waters 0-0-2-2, McDaniel 0-1-2-5, Zeinner 0-2-0-6, Wilson 4-0-2-10, Harris 1-4-0-14. TOTALS 10-10-6-56.
(39) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Butcher 1-1-1-5, Glass 0-3-0-9, Vilvens 3-1-0-9, Blessing 2-0-0-4, France 3-0-0-6, Baltazar 0-1-0-3, Barker 1-0-0-2, Brown 0-0-0-0, Warix 0-0-0-0, Reeder 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 10-6-1-39.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.