WILMINGTON – Facing the defending Division III state champions, Wilmington battled from the opening tip to the final buzzer before losing to visiting Deer Park, 71-55, at Fred Summers Court.
Deer Park improves to 2-0 on the season, while Wilmington is now 1-1 on the season.
“We battled throughout, and were maybe a couple of plays from still being in the game until the final minute,” WHS head coach Mike Noszka said. “But, we lacked a few things tonight. We need to be tougher. Most important of all, we have to make plays, and make our shots.”
Deer Park’s top player was Athie Ibrahima, who led all scorers with 29 points, 19 of those coming in the first half. Deer Park took an 18-11 lead at the first quarter break, and held a 28-20 lead at halftime. Wilmington stayed toe-to-toe with DP in the third, and Cam Coomer’s buzzer-beater (three-pointer) enabled WHS to claim the third period battle, 20-19. Heading into the final period, WHS cut the deficit to 47-40.
Deer Park was too much for the Hurricane in the final quarter, outscoring WHS by a 24-15 margin, to put the game away.
Coomer led the Hurricane offense with 21 points, but it was his defense which pleased his coach.
“Cam was outstanding on the defensive end tonight. He held their No. 5 (Mark Wise) to just two points, and he had 30 in their last game, ” Noszka said.
After two games, Noszka feels the team is beginning to gel and feels they are coming together.
“We have a great group of kids out there, they are battlers and their cohesion is evident,” he said. “We have a unified group, and our coaching staff is united. The key thing is for us to keep on improving.”
A key contributor for the Hurricane scoring effort was Matthew Butcher, who added 15 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Seven different players reached the scoring column, Sam Jacobyansky, unable to play in the OVHC event at Hillsboro, got valuable playing time and added five points
Wilmington will host Clinton County rival East Clinton Friday evening at Summers Court.
December 4, 2018
@Fred Summers Court
Deer Park 71 Wilmington 55
(71) DEER PARK (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ibrahima 10-0-9-29, Gentry 3-2-5-17, Johnson 2-0-2-6, Anderson 1-0-0-2, Wise 1-0-0-2, McIntire 2-0-2-6,Hocker 4-0-0-8.
Team Totals: 23-2-19-71.
(55) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Coomer 4-3-4-21, Sweeney 1-1-0-5, Curtis 1-0-1-3, Anicic 2-0-0-4, Jacobyansky 1-1-0-5, Butcher 2-3-2-15, Brooks 1-0-0-2.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.