Wilmington overcomes poor play for region-opening
Wilmington (56) Vs. Mercer (41)
Dec 11, 2015
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

Poor passes. Too many turnovers. Even more fouls.

No, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Yet the Wilmington High boys basketball team will take a victory any way it comes.

The Greyhounds outlasted visiting Mercer to earn a win in their District 10, Region 2-AA season opener.

Neither side looked particularly comfortable Friday night. Poor entry passes led to turnovers, and shots inside the paint that didn’t fall hindered both teams, as no one outside of Wilmington’s two leading scorers could find a comfort level.

“Any time you can get a league win, you’ll take it, whether it’s a 30-point win or a grind out game like it was tonight,” Wilmington coach Mike Jeckavitch said. “I told them that no game will be easy, so expect everyone’s best. We expect to be better and we will be better.

“We own that, we understand that we need to get better. First league game, maybe some jitters in a region game. There were a lot of fouls, a lot of stupid decisions with the ball. We understand that we need to take better care of the ball and finish around the rim a little more.”

Neither team could avoid the whistle, as a combined 41 fouls, 23 going against the Greyhounds, were called.

Wilmington made the most of its attempts at the free throw line, connecting on 16 of 21 attempts.

The Mustangs were not as fortunate to walk away from the charity stripe with such success, only hitting half of their 22 shots from the line.

“The flow of the game wasn’t really there on both sides,” Jeckavitch said. “A lot of stoppage in play tonight, it’s one of those things where you have to adapt to the game flow. I think we adapted just a little bit better.”

Jimmy Powers paced the Greyhounds with 21 points, followed closely by Spencer DeMedal’s 19-point performance. Combined, the two were responsible for 71.4 percent of Wilmington’s offense.

“I expect every night to come out with those guys doing their thing, being able to put the ball in the bucket,” Jeckavitch said. “It kind of relieves pressure off of each other, they’ve played well together these first four games. I expect that from them and they expect that from themselves. They’re taking the team on their back until we find everyone else’s role on the team.”

Added DeMedal, “I just try the best I can. I try to open opportunities for the rest of my team, it’s a team thing. I’m not worried about myself but, if there’s an opening, I’ll try to take it.”

While Wilmington has found its offense in the form of Powers and DeMedal, it is still searching for a third scoring threat. Jeckavitch hasn’t found an answer to that preseason question just yet, as the next leading scorer for the Greyhounds, Jared Berlin, totaled four points.

“A lot of the other guys on the team are a little younger, a little inexperienced,” Jeckavitch said. “Some of the guys got some varsity time last year, but they haven’t found their niche from coming back from the football season.

“I’m hoping, as the season progresses, these guys get their legs under them a little more and capture their role on this team and be the threat that we expect them to be in our league and hopefully the state playoffs.”

(Email: AKoob@ncnewsonline.com)
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Wilmington 11 13 14 18 0 56
Mercer 8 8 13 12 0 41
Box Scores
Schmid 4 8-10 16
VanWoert 2 0-3
Ricketts 0 0-0 0
Baker 0 0-0 0
Watson 6 3-7 15
Ryder 0 0-0 0
Scheidhauer 0 0-0 0
Amon 3 0-2 6
Koon 0 0-0 0
Totals: 15 11-22 41

Spencer DeMedal 8 3-5 19
Jimmy Powers 6 7-8 21
Jacob Harvey 0 0-0 0
Matt Zimmer 0 1-2 1
Jared Berlin 1 2-2 4
Colton Marett 0 0-0 0
Joe Pezzano 1 0-0 3
Cameron Marett 1 1-2 3
Bryson Verrelli 0 0-0 0
Robert Pontius 1 0-0 3
Totals: 18 16-21 56

MERCER 8 8 13 12 — 41
WILMINGTON 11 13 14 18 — 56

3-point goals — Wilmington 4 (Powers 2, Pezzano 1, Pontius 1).
JV score: Wilmington 63, Mercer 31. High scorers: W — Reese Bender 11, Bryson Verrelli 10, Robert Pontius 10.
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