WILMINGTON — One strong seven-minute stretch was all the Wilmington girls basketball team needed Wednesday night against McClain.
Wilmington held McClain without a field goal for 7:22 of the first half during a 17-2 run, as the Hurricane defeated the Tigers 47-36 at Fred Summers Court in South Central Ohio League action.
Not only did the Hurricane keep the Tigers off the scoreboard during the stretch, but they only allowed McClain five shots from the floor during the run.
McClain had six turnovers in the second quarter to just one for Wilmington. The Hurricane made 8 of 15 from the floor in the second.
A three by Faith Sanderson and back-to-back baskets by Mya Jackson pushed the Wilmington lead to 20 with 2:49 left in the third, 38-18.
“We didn’t rotate and pick kids up,” McClain head coach Jarrod Haines said. “Things we work on every day, we didn’t do for some reason. They just blew our doors off in the first half and beat us up and down the floor.”
Outside of those three consecutive Wilmington field goals, the Tigers carried the play in the second half. McClain outscored Wilmington 18-9 over the final 10:49.
“We really got after it in the second half and gave them a much better game,” Haines said.
McClain forced 15 Wilmington turnovers in the second half and pulled down seven offensive rebounds to just three for the Hurricane.
“McClain beat us in the second half,” WHS head coach Zach Williams said. “We just got lazy with the ball. We can’t have that to beat Trace, Chillicothe, Bellbrook — teams that we want to beat. We have to be more solid in two halves, not one half and relax. Can’t get complacent.
“It goes back to experience. Being in the moment, and being confident in what we do and trusting what we do and not trying to go out of the system.”
However, the shots still weren’t falling for McClain. The Tigers made just 7 of 27 in the second half (25.9 percent) and were 0 of 9 from behind the arc.
Jackson and Sanderson were dominant for Wilmington. Both finished with 20 points.
“Faith Sanderson shot very well,” Williams said. “She hit some threes. I was happy to see her get going from behind the arc. Mya Jackson did a great job off transition off of her defense and finishing. They set the tempo. If they’re shooting well, our momentum is good.”
In addition, Leah Frisco had six points and 12 rebounds.
“We couldn’t get through screens, we couldn’t communicate on defense, we tried to go to a couple different zones,” Haines said. “When you’ve got a hot-hand like Sanderson had, you’ve got to make sure you force her to put in on the floor, and she’s good putting the ball on the floor.”
Beth Montgomery led a balanced McClain attack with nine points. She also had three blocked shots. Taylor Polley added eight points, while Malea Montavon scored seven.
Both McClain (6-6, 4-4 in SCOL) and Wilmington (10-3, 6-2) have tough challenges ahead Saturday. McClain hosts Chillicothe while Wilmington travels to Miami Trace.
Williams and his team fell to the unbeaten Panthers 52-37 earlier this season.
“It’s got to be a four-quarter, focused, intense battle,” Williams said. “If we have a let-up against Trace, they’re going to make you pay. You can’t have a bad quarter. You can’t have bad minutes against a good team.”
January 11, 2017
At Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 47, McClain 36
(36) MCCLAIN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Beth Montgomery 4-0-1-9, Malea Montavon 3-0-1-7, Taylor Polley 2-1-3-8, Kelli Uhrig 1-0-0-2, Lexie Barton 1-1-0-3, Liz Kegley 0-0-3-3, Mackenzie Montavon 2-0-0-4. TOTALS 13-2-8-36.
(47) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jasmine Jamiel 0-0-1-1, Mya Jackson 10-0-0-20, Faith Sanderson 8-4-0-20, Leah Frisco 3-0-0-6. TOTALS 21-4-1-47.
FIELD GOALS: M 13/43 (Montgomery 4/8, M. Montavon 3/11); W 21/45 (Jackson 10/16, Sanderson 8/13, Frisco 3/4)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: M 2/13; W 4/11 (Sanderson 4/5)
FREE THROWS: M 8/14 (Polley 3/6, Kegley 3/4); W 1/7
REBOUNDS: M 30 (Montgomery 5, Barton 5, Stegbauer 3, M. Montavon 3, Polley 3, Kegley 3); W 31 (Frisco 12, Jackson 6, Edingfield 3)
ASSISTS: M 7 (M. Montavon 2, Polley 2); W 10 (Frisco 3, Sanderson 2, K. Jamiel 2)
STEALS: M 11 (M. Montavon 4, Polley 3); W 14 (J. Jamiel 4, Jackson 4)
BLOCKED SHOTS: M 3 (Montgomery 3); W 1 (Edingfield 1)
TURNOVERS: M 22; W 20
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton