WILMINGTON — Chillicothe High School spoiled Senior Night for Wilmington High School Friday night.
The Cavaliers defeated the Hurricane, 62-56, at Fred Summers Court. As a result, Wilmington completes the regular season at 12-9 and finishes 10-4 in the South Central Ohio League, putting them in third place.
With the victory Chillicothe (14-8 overall) clinches second place in the SCOL at 11-3.
The Cavaliers completed the sweep of the Hurricane, winning previously on their home floor, 54-53, on Jan. 13. Chillicothe has posted victories in eight of their last 10 games and this was their fourth consecutive win.
The third quarter was the difference, as Chillicothe outscored the Hurricane 14-9 and took a 42-33 lead into the final period. In the fourth, Chillicothe stretched the lead to 12 points ( 52-40) on a corner trey by Jordan Johnson with just over four minutes remaining in regulation. Although Wilmington claimed the fourth quarter by a slim 23-20 margin, it was not enough.
Prior to the game, all WHS senior athletic participants of winter sports were recognized. Included were senior basketball players Alex Wright and Chris Wolary. Wright had a pair of three pointers in the contest, while Wolary had a double-double on the night, scoring 17 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.
Noszka, who was recognized with his family and presented the game ball from last Friday’s win at Washington Senior High School for his 200th victory at WHS, addressed the crowd following the contest and thanked them for their on-going support of the team throughout the season.
Noszka also spoke of the contributions made by Wright and Wolary, two vital cogs of WHS teams which have posted 83 wins during their time as members of the varsity.
Wilmington will play in the Division I sectional tournament at Fairfield High School 6 p.m. Feb. 28 against either Glen Este or Middletown.
The Hurricane was on fire to start the game against the Cavaliers, thanks to a trio of three pointers (Dylan Beaugard, Wolary, Wright), and jumped out to an early 11-2 lead forcing the Cavaliers to call timeout with 4:16 remaining in the opening period. Chillicothe came back strong with 10 consecutive points, taking a 12-11 lead at the break.
Chillicothe outscored the ‘Cane, 16-11 in the second period, but Matt Smith’s stickback beat the horn at halftime giving the visitors a 28-24 edge at the intermission. Wilmington was bit by the turnover-bug, committing 10 in the first half, and 16 for the game. Chillicothe turned it over 12 times.
“We have got to do a better job securing the basketball,” Noszka said. “Ten turnovers in the first half … unacceptable. Plus, we have got to make our shots, stickbacks, layups; we missed way too many shots tonight when we had chances. We have set the bar high here with our run of success in recent years, but this team has the ability to play just like that. As I have said all year, we just have to do it consistently.”
February 17, 2017
@Fred Summers Court
Chillicothe 62 Wilmington 56
(62) CHILLICOTHE (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) B. Maughmer 4-2-7-21, Barnes 4-0-2-10, W. Roderick 1-0-0-2, Johnson 1-1-0-5, Coffland 3-0-0-6, S. Roderick 4-1-1-12, J. Maughmer 1-0-0-2, Benson 2-0-0-4. Team Totals 20-4-10-62.
(56) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Gauche 0-0-0-0, Griffith 0-0-0-0, Wright 0-2-0-6, Smith 1-0-0-2, Beaugard 3-2-2-14, Mansfield 3-0-11-17, Wolary 3-3-2-17. Team Totals: 10-7-15-56.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet