What a difference 24 hours makes.
Wilmington High School basketball coach Mike Noszka, who was critical of his team’s defensive effort Friday night against Batavia, was all smiles following Saturday night’s 49-42 defeat of visiting Chillicothe.
It was the fifth consecutive victory for the Hurricane, now 9-4 on the year.
Chillicothe, a former member of the South Central Ohio League with Wilmington, is now competing in the Frontier Athletic Conference. The Cavaliers have a 10-4 overall record.
“This was a quality win for us tonight and, defensively, we really brought it,” Noszka said following the game. “You’ve got to give credit to Willie Morris and Jeffery Mansfield because they held their top player (Branden) Maughmer scoreless in the entire first half.”
Maughmer ended the contest with 13 points, tying teammate Simon Roderick for top scoring honors for the Cavaliers.
“Before the game we watched tape and talked about the things we must do (defensively) to take care of our opponents. Tonight, it was a matter of us executing our defensive game plan and it worked,” Noszka said. “I’m just proud of my team. The kids were challenged by the coaching staff to play better and they certainly did.”
Local fans were treated to a spectacular first quarter effort by Hurricane senior Matt Smith, as he accounted for all 19 WHS points.
Smith drilled five three pointers, including a straight-on bank shot from the edge of the Hurricane swirl at center court as the first quarter horn sounded. The ‘Cane held a 19-13 lead at the quarter break.
The teams combined for 10 second quarter points, with Chillicothe getting the edge, 6-4, as Wilmington took a 23-19 lead into halftime.
Again, the Hurricane defense was strong in the third period, holding the Cavaliers to single digits (seven), while Smith converted a pair of treys helping WHS extend its lead to 34-26 after three quarters.
Wilmington capitalized at the free throw line in the fourth period, converting 11 of 13 opportunities. Individually, Mansfield was 7 of 9 from the charity stripe in the period. He converted an old-fashion three-point play on a drive to the basket with 3:14 remaining in regulation to give WHS a 10-point cushion, 41-31.
Chillicothe would not go away and Maughmer scored 10 in the period as the Cavaliers chipped away and made it a 43-37 game with 1:32 to play.
On the night, Wilmington converted 16 of 20 free throw attempts, while the Cavaliers made nine of 13 free throw chances.
Smith topped all scorers with 29 points, while Mansfield collected 16 over the final three quarters of play. Sam Jacobyansky had the remaining four points scored by the Hurricane.
Wilmington returns to SBAAC American Division action Friday night, hosting Clinton County rival Clinton-Massie at Summers Court.
January 20 2018
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 49 Chillicothe 42
(42) CHILLICOTHE (fg-3fg-ft-tp). B. Maughmer 3-1-6-13, Jordan 1-1-0-3, Roderick 5-0-0-10. J. Maughmer 0-0-2-2, Roderick 5-1-0-13, Benson 0-0-1-1. TOTALS 15-3-9-42.
(49) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp). Morris 0-0-0-0, Gauche 0-0-0-0, Griffith 0-0-0-0, Jacobyansky 1-0-2-4, Smith 10-7-2-29, Mansfield 2-0-12-16, Taylor 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 13-7-16-49.