WILMINGTON – There’s a saying coaches use, “It’s not how you start that matters, it’s how you finish.”
That axiom applies to Friday night’s Wilmington versus New Richmond boys basketball game. The visiting Lions jumped out to a 14-7 first quarter lead, but the Hurricane outscored the Lions the next three periods 50-34 to claim a 57-48 victory in SBAAC American Division play at Fred Summers Court.
For Wilmington, it was the third victory of the season, while the loss drops the Lions to 6-3.
What was pleasing to WHS head coach Mike Noszka was getting to utilize many players who have not been able to play due to injuries.
“We were able to get Sam (Jacobyansky) back in the starting line-up, plus John Stewart gave us valuable minutes this evening,” Noszka said. “When Cam (Coomer) got in foul trouble (four fouls in the early stages of the fourth quarter), others players stepped up for us. What people may not realize is that these players don’t just miss games, they miss valuable time in practice. When you don’t have the full roster of varsity players – only eight or nine – it’s hard to work on the things we need to do in practice.”
Coomer was limited to just five first half points, but came on strong in the second half, scoring 17 as he led the WHS attack with 22 points on the night.
Jacobyansky played all four quarters and added 16 points, including 10 in the second half. Matt Butcher was the third Hurricane player to hit double figures as he scored 12.
Noszka gave credit to New Richmond, coached by former WHS assistant Brian McMonigle, for playing his squad tough.
“They shot the ball very well and we gave them way too many layups,” Noszka said. “We found a way to get it done and the strange thing was we didn’t have a single three-point basket the entire game. We really played well the second hal and our defensive effort was much better.”
Wilmington outscored the Lions by a dozen, 33-21, in the second half. Despite the advantage, WHS did not shoot free throws well, making just 13 of 23 attempts. Their margin was much better in the final period, converting on 7 of 10. New Richmond connected on 6 of its 10 free throw.
Wilmington committed 16 turnovers in the game, nine in the first half. New Richmond turned it over 19 times in the game, 10 in the second half of play.
Leading scorer for New Richmond was Griffin Delisle with 17 and Jonathan Lang added 14 points.
Wilmington’s next opponent will be Clinton County rival Clinton-Massie at Fred Summers Court Tuesday night.
“They are very talented, perhaps the most talented team in the league, ” Noszka said of the Falcons. “To me, they (Clinton-Massie) are the team to beat in the conference. We will need to be ready for them and play a much better game if we are to win.”
January 4, 2019
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 57 New Richmond 48
(48) NEW RICHMOND (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lang 3-2-2-14, Delisle 7-1-0-17, Hess 1-0-0-2, Lansaw 1-0-4-6, Ernst 2-0-0-4, Ackerman 1-1-0-5.
Team Totals: 15-4-6-48.
(57) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Morris 2-0-0-4, Coomer 7-0-8-22, Sweeney 1-0-1-3, Jacobyansky 7-0-2-16, Butcher 5-0-2-12, Jones 0-0-0-0, Custis 0-0-0-0, Brooks 0-0-0-0, J. Stewart 0-0-0-0.
Team Totals: 22-0-13-57.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.