WILMINGTON — Although the weather was bitterly cold on the outside, its was “raining threes” inside Fred Summers Court as Wilmington defeated Hillsboro 95-50 in South Central Ohio League action Friday night.
The two teams combined for a total of 21 three-pointers in the contest, with Wilmington connecting beyond the arc 14 times.
Hurricane senior Alex Wright led the way for the ’Cane with 23 points, including six three-pointers. He ignited Wilmington’s opening quarter run, dialing from long distance four times as WHS steam-rolled to a 27-14 advantage.
“Alex puts his heart and soul into his game,” WHS head coach Michael Noszka said. “The entire team was just proud of the way he played tonight. He’s been a real leader for us during his time in the program. He really shot it well tonight.”
Wright also added nine more in the second period, as WHS claimed the second quarter, 23-10, to take a commanding 50-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Wilmington kept the pressure on in the third period with an 18-0 run to start the second half and pulled away by a big margin, 26-5, to make it a 76-29 advantage at the third quarter break. Hillsboro claimed the fourth quarter, 21-19.
In all, the Hurricane had five players reach double figures. Matt Smith had 19, including 17 in the second half, while non-starter Layne Griffith added 14, including a pair of treys.
“Layne simply makes us better and he has worked extremely hard coming back from his earlier injury,” said Noszka. “He has put in a tremendous amount of time during the off-season to get back into basketball readiness. He has also been a valuable contributor to our program.”
Jeffery Mansfield added 12 points and Dylan Beaugard followed with 11 for the Hurricane.
For Hillsboro, non-starter Ethan Watson led the way with 12, Kelton Anderson followed with 10 points, and Cameron Reed added eight points off the bench.
Noszka stopped short of calling it a very good four quarter effort by his team, citing some defensive deficiencies in the fourth quarter when the Indians erupted for 21 points. Hillsboro scored just 29 points in the first three quarters.
“We just continue to refine our true identity each time we play,” said Noszka. “We measure our improvements in four ways: How hard are we playing, and then how well are we are playing defensively, and how well are we executing offensively.
“The final thing is how well are we rebounding the basketball. Tonight we really did three of those things really well. I felt our defensive effort in the second period, and the first five minutes of the third quarter, was very good. We held them to just 15 points in those two quarters. But, in the fourth quarter we regressed, from our defensive approach.”
Wilmington improves to 6-3 overall, and is now 4-1 in the SCOL. Hillsboro falls to 1-8 overall, 1-4 in the conference.
Noszka and the Hurricane will resume SCOL action on Tuesday, when the Blue Lions from Washington Senior High come to Fred Summers Court.
December 6, 2017
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 95 Hillsboro 50
(95) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Evans 2-0-1-5 Gauche 1-0-0-2 Griffith 5-2-2-14 Wright 8-6-1-23 Smith 8-3-0-19 Beaugard 5-1-0-11 Mansfield 5-1-1-12 Wolary 4-1-0-9 TOTALS 38-14-5-95
(50) HILLSBORO (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Swayne 2-1-0-5 Bell 1-1-0-3 Reed 2-2-2-8 Ryan 2-0-2-6 Ward 0-0-0-0 Watson 5-2-0-12 Anderson 4-1-1-10 Keets 2-0-2-6 TOTALS 18-7-7-50
Bill Liermann covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet