WILMINGTON – For the first three quarters of the county matchup, Clinton-Massie and Wilmington went toe to toe in a defensive standoff.
But in a wild, high-scoring fourth quarter, the Hurricane pulled away for a 55-49 win in SBAAC American Division action at Fred Summers Court.
The victory enables the Hurricane to even its overall record at 4-4. Massie suffered just its second loss of the season and is now 5-2.
Clinton-Massie has not defeated Wilmington in varsity basketball action since December of 2004, when the Falcons won a Clinton County tournament game against the Hurricane.
Matthew Butcher led Wilmington with 15 points, 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter. Cam Coomer added 13 and Marco Anicic scored 12 points. Sam Jacobyansky had 10 points.
For the visiting Falcons, Thomas Myers had 21 points. Griffin Laake added nine and Daulton Wolfe scored seven.
The Falcons jumped out to a 12-8 first quarter lead and maintained a one-point edge, 21-20, at halftime. Wilmington got the upper hand in the third period, thanks to a 9-6 margin, and held a two-point lead entering the final quarter, 29-27.
It was in the final quarter when the offenses heated up and things got rolling for both teams. They would combine for 48 points combined in the final period.
Long-distance shooting by the Hurricane, silenced for much of the night, got things underway, and it was a non-starter who stepped up for WHS.
A pair of three-pointers by Serbian exchange student Marco Anicic enabled the Hurricane to extend the margin to nine, 39-30, with 3:30 to go in regulation. The Falcons would not go away, countering with baskets from Myers, who scored nine in the fourth.
But perhaps the biggest basket of the game was Butcher’s corner trey with 1:35 remaining which gave WHS a seven-point lead, 47-40, and dashed the hopes for a Falcons’ comeback.
Wilmington was able to cash in at the free throw line when the Falcons sent them to the line in the fourth quarter, as WHS converted nine of 11 attempts with Coomer hitting on five of his six attempts.
On the night, the Hurricane connected on 16 of 19 from the charity stripe.
Turnovers were nearly even, as Wilmington committed 11 and the Falcons had 10.
Next action for the Falcons will be on the road Friday in SBAAC action at Batavia, while the Hurricane will host the Goshen Warriors Friday evening also in league action.
January 8, 2019
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 55 Clinton-Massie 49
(49) CLINTON-MASSIE (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Wolfe 0-2-1-7, Lamb 3-0-0-6, Chowning 0-2-0-6, Myers 9-0-3-21, Laake 4-0-1-9, Settlemyre 0-0-0-0.
Team Totals: 16-4-5-49.
(55) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Morris 0-0-0-0, Coomer 3-0-7-13, Custis 1-1-0-5, Anicic 0-4-0-12, Jacobyansky 2-1-3-10, Butcher 3-1-6-15, Spears 0-0-0-0, Stewart 0-0-0-0.
Team Totals: 9-7-16-55.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.