Matt Smith swished a three from the corner at the buzzer to give Wilmington a 51-48 victory over Springboro at Fred Summers Court Wednesday.
Jeffery Mansfield set up Smith’s game-winning bomb with a steal with 1:17 left. He dribbled the ball out top for a little more than a minute before driving the lane and kicking the ball out to Smith.
“The biggest thing we did tonight (that) we did very well defensively is we defended the side out-of-bounds a lot better. We didn’t give up points on baseline out-of-bounds, and we were able to get the steal,” Wilmington head coach Mike Noszka said. “We were very disciplined with 1:17 left to take the last shot. Jeffery Mansfield has really had to adjust his game with the injury to Dylan (Beaugard) this year. He was able to handle the basketball for that last minute. He attacked at the correct time, about six seconds, and then when he got down here, the pass to Matt was right in his shooting pocket.
“And of course, there’s nobody else we want shooting that ball besides Matt. He’s shooting over 40 percent from three. Great job of finishing here in the fourth quarter.”
Smith’s shot broke the last of five second-half ties.
“We weren’t going to call a timeout in that situation,” Noszka said. “We have the ball in our best player’s hands. We have great confidence in his decision making. I know he’s going to make the right decision, which he did.”
There also was five second-half lead changes. Layne Griffith gave Wilmington (5-4) the lead for good with five straight points to end the third quarter.
The first tie and lead change in the second half came when Mansfield’s drive to the hoop knotted the game at 25 and he took a steal the distance moments later to give Wilmington its first lead of the night.
The Hurricane had trailed Springboro 14-7 after a quarter.
“Willie Morris really got us started defensively,” Noszka said. “We didn’t play well defensively in the first quarter and Willie came in with about a minute left and immediately our defensive intensity went up. We started turning them over a little bit.”
Mansfield led the Hurricane with 13 points. Cameron Coomer joined him in double-figures with 11.
Springboro’s Garett Powell led all scorers with 18 points. Kaleb Tabor added 11 for the Panthers (3-7).
Wilmington has held opponents to fewer than 60 points in all five wins this season
January 3 2018
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 51 Springboro 48
(48) SPRINGBORO (fg-ft-tp) – Tabor 4-0-11, Arrington 4-0-8, Powell 7-3-18, Miller 1-0-2, Berner 1-1-3, Emmanuel 0-0-0, Yates 0-0-0, Zier 0-0-0, Grevey 2-0-6. Total 19-4-48. 3-point goals: 6 (Tabor 3, Grevey 2, Powell).
(51) WILMINGTON (fg-ft-tp) – Gauche 1-0-2, Jacobyansky 1-2-4, Smith 2-2-8, Mansfield 6-1-13, Taylor 2-0-4, Morris 1-0-2, Coomer 2-7-11, Griffith 3-1-7. Total 18-13-51. 3-point goals: 2 (Smith 2).
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.