Sophomore’s last-second shot lifts ’Hounds
Wilmington (66) Vs. Mohawk (63)
Dec 14, 2011
By Dan Irwin
New Castle News

Anthony Derrick had to get the ball.

After all, the Wilmington senior had been driving to the bucket all night to the tune of 24 points against Mohawk. So eight seconds after the Warriors’ Jimmy Gerazounis hit a 3-point field goal to knot the score with 20 ticks remaining, the Greyhounds called a time out to get the ball in Derrick’s hands.

“We struggled defensively on Derrick all night,” Mohawk coach Rob Fadden noted. “We basically gave him the middle of the floor and he ran with it.”

Not this time. The Warriors’ defense collapsed on Derrick in the paint, denying him a shot. Derrick, though, kicked the ball out to sophomore Rocco Fagan, and Fagan — who missed his only other two 3-point shots of the night — sank the trey with four seconds left to lift Wilmington to a 66-63 nonleague victory.

“We set up the play to get Anthony the ball,” Wilmington coach Mike Jeckavitch explained. “He was having a career game getting to the basket with layups and everything. We set a ball screen for him, and he drove the lane and they collapsed, and Rocco stepped up to the challenge and drained that 3.

“Rocco (whose only other made shot was a layup at the end of the first half) put in a lot of time over the offseason. He doesn’t play anything else but basketball. We’ve been really working on his confidence and his shot. I put him out there at the end in case they did collapse on Anthony, and he made it happen.”

Mohawk (1-2) trailed 63-58, and when Tim Glass — who also had a 24-point night — missed two free throws with 1:17 remaining, it appeared to give Wilmington (2-1) a chance to put the contest away. But turnovers and a missed free throw by Ryan Sager (14 points) gave Mohawk the chance to rally. Gerazounis dropped in a bucket with 57 ticks showing, then hit his 3-pointer from the corner 37 seconds later.

The Warriors even had one final chance after Fagan’s bucket. Following a timeout, they took the ball out of bounds at the far end of the floor with one second left. The in-bounds pass bounced into the hands of Lucas Grim at the opposite end of the floor, and Grim launched a 3-point try at the buzzer that bounced twice off the iron before falling away.

“I almost had a heart attack at (age) 31,” Jeckavitch said of the tense moment. “I don’t know how it bounced twice (on the floor) and no one touched it on our team. He got a good shot off, I’m just glad it didn’t go in.”

Fadden liked the way his team rallied in the final minutes of the game, right down the the last-second shot.

“But if we don’t let our guard down at the other end of the floor, maybe we’re not even in that situation,” he said. “We’re proud of the kids. We’re in a position where we have to learn to win, and that starts with taking care of the ball, which we didn’t do early on, and playing defense.

“Right now we’re struggling with both of those phases, but they’ll get better.”
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Wilmington 12 21 15 18 0 66
Mohawk 14 14 17 18 0 63
Box Scores
Anthony Derrick 10 4-4 24
Vince Pitzulo 0 0-0 0
Matt Bowen 4 1-2 13
Ryan Sager 6 2-3 14
Jordan Smith 0 0-0 0
Rocco Fagan 2 0-0 5
Jesse Hilliard 2 2-4 6
Ryan Crawford 2 0-1 4.
Totals: 26 9-14 66.

Lucas Grimm 0 0-0 0
Tim Glass 10 2-5 24
Vince Menichino 2 0-0 4
Jimmy Gerazounis 4 0-0 9
Jonathan Grim 6 1-1 13
Matt Aeppli 0 0-0 0
John Hartzell 2 0-0 4
Mitchell Grim 3 0-0 6
Nick Mastrangelo 1 1-2 3.
Totals: 28 4-8 63.

WILMINGTON 12 21 15 18 — 66
MOHAWK 14 14 17 18 — 63

3-point goals — Mohawk 3 (Glass 2, Gerazounis 1), Wilmington 5 (Bowen 4, Fagan 1).
JV score: Wilmington 64, Mohawk 55. High scorer: W — Xavier Coulter 15, M — John Hartzell 26.

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