’Hounds head into playoffs on positive note
Wilmington (65) Vs. Sharpsville (63)
Feb 14, 2009
It was a perfect way to end the regular season for the Wilmington High boys basketball team.
The Greyhounds, coming off back-to-back losses to Lakeview and Vision Quest, won in dramatic fashion, 65-63 at Sharpsville last night.
The District 10, Region 2-AA victory gave Wilmington a final region record of 7-3 (14-8 overall) heading into the playoffs. The ’Hounds, who finished second in the region behind Reynolds (10-1, 21-1) will learn the site, time and opponent for their playoff opener tomorrow.
Sharpsville’s season ends at 2-8 and 6-14.
“After the last two games, we needed to get back on the right track,” Wilmington coach Will Harris said. “An overtime game is something you can take and learn from. Hopefully our confidence will carry through to the playoffs.”
The Greyhounds held a lead for most of the game, but Sharpsville made a run in the fourth quarter and took the lead.
“I think we lost focus defensively,” Harris said.
Wilmington was trailing 59-58 with 19 seconds left when Matt Wagner was fouled.
“He’s been struggling from the line all year (he was 8 of 31 going into last night’s game), but he went up there and knocked down the first one,” Harris said.
The game went to overtime when Wagner missed the second free throw, but the Wagner cousins, Matt and Shane, took over. Shane, who finished with a career-high 30 points, made a pair of free throws early on, then added a 3-pointer to put the Greyhounds up by 5. The Blue Devils scored on their next two possessions to pull to within 64-63, and got the ball back with 9 seconds left with a chance to win. But when Sharpsville’s Josh Taylor drove the lane, Matt Wagner was there to swat the shot right into the waiting hands of Ian Kelly.
“Matt did everything right,” Harris said. “He went straight up and blocked it right to Ian. The kid (Taylor) was trying to draw the foul, but Matt is so long at 6-6, he was able to time his jump perfectly and he was smart enough to not make contact.”
Kelly was fouled with one second remaining and he made the first free throw, after which Harris called a timeout and instructed him to miss the second shot on purpose so Sharpsville would have virtually no chance to set up a play.
“It was tough for Ian to miss that second shot because he’s a good free throw shooter, but he played it perfectly, hitting the rim. They got the rebound and had to shoot a 90-footer as the buzzer rang.”
Matt Wagner scored just six points, but he had 12 rebounds and five blocked shots for Wilmington. Jake DeMedal added 13 points, four steals and four assists.