Wilmington too much for Lakeview
Wilmington (47) Vs. Lakeview (30)
By DAN IRWIN
Jake DeMedal may be starting to shake off the final penalty of a successful football season.
Delay of game.
For each of the last four years, Wilmington’s football team has played into mid-December, leaving multi-sport stars like DeMedal to get a late start on basketball. The Greyhounds’ senior, though, seems to be finding his stride, as evidenced by his 18-point performance last night in a 47-30 District 10, Region 2 win over Lakeview.
The victory moved Wilmington (7-9 overall) into a three-way tie with Sharpsville and Greenville for first place. All three teams are 3-1 in the region.
The Greyhounds and Sailors (2-2, 7-8) squared off in a defensive struggle for most of the first half, with Wilmington taking a 14-11 lead at intermission. The ’Hounds, though, took momentum into the locker room after DeMedal — who did not score in the opening stanza — sandwiched a pair of 3-point field goals around another trey by Matt Moesta.
Wilmington returned to the floor after halftime and outscored Lakeview, 19-6, over the next 10 minutes to build a 33-17 lead. Afterward, the Sailors never got closer than 14 points.
“They play like a sag-off defense, so it’s really hard to be aggressive, and we were a little lackadaisical with the ball,” DeMedal said of the first half, when Wilmington had almost as many turnovers (11) as points (14).
“We were turning it over at the beginning, then Matt hit a big shot, and I actually hit a couple of threes for once, and that made them come out on us a little more and opened up the dribbling lanes a little bit.”
Both DeMedal and Wilmington coach Will Harris are glad to see the long-distance shots starting to fall. Of DeMedal’s 13 total 3-pointers, eight have come in his last four games.
“The shot has been struggling,” DeMedal said. “I worked on it all summer and everything. It just hasn’t come, but it’s starting to.
“We’ve only been playing for a month and a half (because of football), and most of these other teams have been playing for like three months.”
Harris noted that the second-period treys by Moesta and DeMedal forced the Sailors to extend their initially packed-in defense outward. That, in turn, enabled his team to assert itself both on the boards (Wilmington had a 33-15 rebounding advantage) and in the paint. DeMedal and Brandon Burk (10 points) each put up four second-half field goals by going to the hoop.
“I’m glad Jake has gotten his shot back,” Harris said. “This is about when he usually gets it back. Luckily, he’s become a much better penetrator this year. He’s averaging 18, 19 (points per game), and most of those are coming off ball penetration.
“(If) he develops that three ball to his game, then he’s going to be pretty dangerous.”
Harris also was thrilled with his team’s defense, which held Lakeview’s Lucas Reddick and Casey Greggs to a combined 6 points. The two had been contributing more than 30 points per outing.
“This is as happy as I’ve been with our defense,” he said. “Our defense kept us in it the first half.”
Meanwhile, the victory kept the ’Hounds in control of their destiny, as they travel to Sharpsville on Tuesday and play host to Greenville on Friday.
“We’re starting to come around,” DeMedal said. “I think we’re starting to peak at the right time.”