WILMINGTON – Calling it his team’s “best effort so far this season,” Wilmington High School boys basketball coach Mike Noszka put his stamp of approval on the Hurricane’s 71-53 victory Thursday over Unioto High School in non-conference action at Fred Summers Court.
Both teams are now 5-2 overall.
Following an opening game loss to Logan, the Sherman Tanks had posted five consecutive wins coming into the contest.
Jeffery Mansfield led the Hurricane scoring attack with 25 points, including 16 in the second half, while Chris Wolary followed with 21, 12 in the first half of play.
After surrendering 33 first half points, Wilmington held the Sherman Tanks to just 20 for the entire second half.
”Our defensive effort in the second half was outstanding tonight,” Noszka said.
Wolary was deadly beyond the arc, connecting on four treys, including three in the opening period as Wilmington seized a 20-17 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Unioto outscored Wilmington 16-14 in the second period, making it a one-point cushion for Wilmington at the intermission, 34-33. The Tanks’ Clay Edler fired in a half-court shot as the buzzer.
Wilmington got the upper hand in the third quarter, scoring the first eight points, and ultimately won the period 22-9 and led 56-41 after three.
Coming off the heartbreaking loss to Princeton on Tuesday night, Noszka was hoping for a quick bounce-back by his team and he pointed to the junior varsity for igniting the fuse.
“I really felt our junior varsity gave us a big lift tonight and our kids fed off that energy and enthusiasm,” said Noszka. “I felt the pace of the game, and our conditioning, were the key factors, especially in the second half.”
As the Hurricane squad continues to evolve, Noszka sees contributions from different players each day.
“We’ve been asking for more people to step up and tonight it happened,” he said. “We got more effort from more people and it really showed in that second half.”
With seven games under their belts, the Hurricane will take a few days off for Christmas break, then get back into action next week when the Mason Comets invade Fred Summers Court on Wednesday night.
“All the kids — every one of them — are working really hard, and this was a real good effort by them against a very fine basketball team,” said Noszka.
December 22, 2016
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 71 Unioto 53
(71) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Wolary 8-4-1-21 Mansfield 9-0-7-25 Beaugard 5-2-0-12 Smith 4-1-0-9 Evans 1-1-1-4 Morris 0-0-0-0 Sweeney 0-0-0-0 Wright 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 27-8-9-71
(53) UNIOTO (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Swackhammer 4-1-2-11 Edler 2-1-0-5 White 1-1-0-3 Kennedy 4-3-0-11 Frey 2-1-4-9 Ogan 3-0-0-6 Fisher 0-0-1-1 Hill 3-0-0-6 Adkins 0-0-1-1. TOTALS 19-7-8-53
Bill Liermann covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet