TIFFIN — Jackson Todd’s steal and layup lifted Wilmington to a stunning 62-58 win over No. 2 seed Heidelberg Tuesday in Ohio Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament action.
Wilmington was in a rut offensively, surrendering a second half lead, and it looked as though the Student Princes would escape with the win.
But a barrage of Bilal Sow three-pointers late and Todd’s defensive gem helped move the Quakers in to the next round of the tournament.
Wilmington, just 4-9 on the year, lost to Heidelberg twice during the regular season. The Student Princes finish 9-3.
Wilmington will play at top-seeded Marietta Thursday night in the semifinals.
Jeffery Mansfield had 18 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. Sow had four three-pointers and 15 points.
Todd finished with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. Matt Smith added eight points.
It was a tightly-contested first half. Heidelberg led most of the time with its biggest lead 30-24 at the 2:45 mark.
The game was tied four times and there six lead changes but Wilmington hung around in an almost even game.
Late in the half, though, the Quakers had a surge. Down six, WC got a three from Bilal Sow, assisted by Hunter Ruckel.
Jackson Todd followed with a three and completed the “old-fashioned” four-point play with a free throw and it was 31-29 Heidelberg.
A Todd to Mansfield basket tied the game then Noah Dado gave WC a lead with just over a minute to play in the half.
The WHS connection of Mansfield to Smith resulted in a three-pointer early in the half. Mansfield then made two free throws and the Quakers lead grew to 38-33 with 17:45 to play.
Neither team was able to mount much offense over the next five minutes. Dylan Woods three-point play pulled the Student Princes within 42-41 at the 12:06 mark.
The Quakers offensive drought (1 for 18 field goals) continued and Heidelberg took advantage by grabbing the lead, 49-44.
Despite the horrific shooting, Wilmington was far from out of this one.
Sow drained another three at the 4:27 mark, with Todd assisting, and it was 53-52 Heidelberg.
The back-breaker for the Quakers turned out to be a Heidelberg offensive rebound off a missed three, that turned in to a three-point play by Seth Hohman. With just under four minutes to play, the Student Princes lead was back to 56-52.
Undaunted Wilmington landed the knockout punches with a Todd two, a Sow three (for the lead) and another Sow three (assisted by Ruckel) with 55 seconds to go.
It wasn’t over, though, until Todd made his coast to coast run for the final basket of the game.