WILMINGTON – Utilizing a make-shift lineup affected by injuries, Wilmington posted a 57-41 victory Friday night over visiting Batavia in SBAAC American Division action at Fred Summers Court.
It was the fourth consecutive win for the Hurricane, which improved to 8-4 on the season, while Batavia falls to 2-8 on the season.
Willie Morris, inserted into the starting line-up, scored 15 points for the ‘Cane, including 11 in the first half, as Wilmington jumped out to a 43-20 halftime lead.
“Willie really answered the bell for us,” said WHS head coach Mike Noszka in his post-game comments. “He also did it for us defensively.”
Morris was a key contributor filling in for Cameron Coomer, who is expected to be out for perhaps a week, Noszka said.
Seven different players combined for 24 points in the opening period as WHS jumped out to a 24-10 lead at the first quarter break.
Morris and Matthew Smith combined for 10 points, and Dorian Taylor added a pair of baskets coming off the bench.
Smith was the leading scorer for the Hurricane with 21 points, 15 of that coming on five treys. Smith poured in 13 in the first half.
Noszka was pleased with the offensive output, but the defensive effort, in his opinion, left a lot to be desired.
“We must get better, especially in our half-court defense,” Noszka said. “We got in foul trouble because we were out of position. Plus, we committed nearly 20 turnovers, just like we did down at New Richmond. If we continue playing like this, well, we’re gonna get beat one of these nights.”
Noszka also praised veteran Jeffery Mansfield, who has adapted into his role as playmaker for others with the loss of point guard Dylan Beaugard to injury.
“Jeffery is so unselfish. He is truly one of the best players I have ever coached because of one simple fact. He makes everybody better. He is a consummate team player,” Noszka said.
Wilmington, who set the pace in the opening half, saw the Bulldogs come to life in the second half, outscoring the ‘Cane by a slim margin, 21-14 in the second half.
Top scorer was Nate Watson with nine, and Kaleb Moell followed with eight.
Wilmington will be in action Saturday in non-conference play, hosting Chillicothe from the Frontier Athletic Conference.
January 19, 2018
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 57 Batavia 41
(41) BATAVIA (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Storer 2-1-2-7 Scaggs 1-0-0-2 Byrd 0-0-0-0 Zenni 0-0-0-0 Ellington 0-0-3-3 Burke 1-1-0-3 Griffin 0-0-3-3 Watson 4-0-1-9 Carter 3-0-0-6 Whitt 0-0-0-0 Moell 4-0-0-8 TOTALS 15-2-9-41
(57) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Morris 6-3-0-15 Gauche 1-0-0-2 Griffith 2-0-0-4 Jacobyansky 1-0-2-4 Smith 8-5-0-21 Mansfield 2-0-1-5 Taylor 3-0-0-6. TOTALS 23-8-3-57
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.