Shenango boys top Wilmington
Shenango (51) Vs. Wilmington (35)
Dec 29, 2010
The Shenango High boys basketball team enjoyed its holiday break.
But, not too much.
Last night, the Wildcats emerged quickly from their short hiatus to post a 51-35 win over Wilmington at the Union Booster Tournament.
Shenango (4-3) will meet Laurel, a 54-48 winner over Union, at 7:30 p.m. in today’s championship game.
“It’s nice. We have some young guys on the team and we look forward to getting them some experience in that championship game,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said. “They’ll be excited and ready to go.”
The Wildcats had no problem rediscovering their game against the Greyhounds (2-3). Shenango scored the first 11 points of the game and blanked Wilmington for the game’s first 3:54.
“I think it happens to all the teams over Christmas break. You can get in that vacation mode, so to speak. I thought we had a pretty good practice (Monday) and we looked ready to play (yesterday),” McQuiston said. “I could see a difference in their eyes before the game. They just came out ready to play. One of the keys to the game was getting off to a quick start. I thought we did a good job running the floor and distributing the ball and we got up on them early.”
The Greyhounds appeared stunned by the outburst. By the time Daryl Pace swished a free throw, they faced an 11-1 deficit.
“I thought we came out pretty flat and they seemed to not be able to miss anything. We didn’t seem like we were ready to play. We just weren’t ready for what they had to give us. Mentally and physically, we weren’t ready,” Wilmington coach Mike Jeckavitch said. “In the second half, we played a lot better. But we just can’t dig ourselves holes. We’re a young team and we don’t have a lot of guys with a lot of experience.”
Shenango settled for a 16-6 lead at the end of the first. The Wildcats used a balanced offensive attack to push their margin to 32-16 at halftime. Six different Shenango players scored a bucket in the second quarter.
The Wildcats were limited to just two field goals in the third, but converted all five of their free throws and maintained a 16-point advantage (42-26).
Wilmington made a push in the fourth. The Greyhounds began the frame with a 6-1 run, capped by Matt Bowen’s 3-pointer. The burst trimmed the deficit to 11 points, 43-32, with 3:14 to play. However, Shenango converted five of six free throws to push its lead back up to 16 points, 48-32, with 1:44 remaining.
“Wilmington is a good team. They were going to battle back and you expect that from good teams,” McQuiston said. “I thought we did a good job of holding them off at the end. They made a run and we were able to withstand the run and finish it.”
The Greyhounds struggled to convert offensively in the final couple minutes.
“They had the momentum and, when we did cut it down to almost single digits, they stuck the dagger in us one more time it seemed like. They got the big shot and the big rebound and we just couldn’t get over that hump,” Jeckavitch said. “We’re a young team and we’re still learning. Hopefully, we can build from this as a learning experience.”
Wilmington will play Union at 4:30 p.m. in the consolation contest.
Jordan O’Hara led Shenango with 12 points, while Jeff Williams added 11.
Pace scored a game-high 15 points for the Greyhounds.