DeMedal shines as 'Hounds head to District 10 titl
Wilmington (53) Vs. Cambridge Springs (39)
Feb 28, 2017
By Clayton Sauertieg
New Castle News
EDINBORO — There aren’t many words left to describe Wilmington High’s Spencer DeMedal.
The dual-sport athlete is an all-star player in both football and basketball. He’s a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-point scorer. Soon, he may also be able to call himself a multi-sport champion.
DeMedal scored 26 points to lead the way for Wilmington on Tuesday night as it took down Cambridge Springs, 53-39, at Edinboro University in the District 10, Class 2A semifinals.
“Spencer is our catalyst,” Wilmington coach Mike Jeckavitch said of the senior. “He’s our best rebounder, best scorer and when he gets it going on both ends of the floor other guys just follow him. He’s a leader by example.”
The Greyhounds (17-7) came into the contest as the second seed from the Region 2, while the Blue Devils (20-4) were the designated home team as the champions and top seed out of Region 3.
DeMedal made his presence felt immediately, stripping a Blue Devils ball handler and going coast-to-coast for a layup that served as the opening points of the game. Moments, later, he did the same and Wilmington held an early 4-2 lead.
While Cambridge Springs had a clear height advantage, starting three players at least 6-foot-4, Wilmington capitalized on advantages in speed and athleticism. Greyhounds’ guards, led by DeMedal and sophomore Cameron Marett, caused issues for the Blue Devils’ ball handlers all night.
“They did exactly what we asked them to do,” Jeckavitch said of the defense. “We said if we’re going to front the post we have to be active up front on their guards so the entry passes would be a little bit more difficult. We were relying that help-side defense would be there and all night it was there.”
DeMedal poured in 15 points in the first half and Wilmington led by just two, 22-20 at the half, but the third quarter was key.
The Greyhounds jumped out to a 12-point lead at one point in the quarter and carried a 40-33 margin into the final frame. Continuous pressure on the defensive end in the fourth quarter and key foul shooting helped Jeckavitch’s club close out the win. The Greyhounds went 11-of-15 from the foul line in the fourth to help send them back to a district title game for the first time since 1987, when they were still in the WPIAL.
DeMedal will now play in his second district championship game of the 2016-17 school year after leading the football team to a title over Sharpsville in November.
“Knowing that we haven’t done it in so long, most people look at us as a football school,” he said. “It’s been a while, and to be a part of this team, especially as a senior, it’s something special that I’m going to carry with me for the rest of my life.
Wilmington now faces West Middlesex, a team that it defeated twice in two regular-season meetings, in the finals after the Big Reds (11-14) upset top-seeded Rocky Grove, 40-30 in the other semifinal matchup.
“It feels great,” DeMedal of playing in yet another championship game. “I have full confidence in everybody on this team and I’m confident that we’re going to get the win.”