WILMINGTON – After falling in an early hole, Wilmington rallied to down Lakota East 72-59 Wednesday in a non-conference game at Fred Summers Court.
University of Cincinnati-commit Jarron Cumberland led the Hurricane (9-0) with 33 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Cameron Stewart and Dylan Beaugard joined Cumberland in double-figures with 17 and 11, respectively. Stewart also dished out five assists. Beaugard had six steals.
Evan Kuhlman had a team-high 28 for the Hawks (6-3), including 16 in the first quarter on 6-of-9 shooting (4-of-5 behind the arc).
After Kuhlman’s sharpshooting put the Hawks up 22-16 after a quarter, Wilmington head coach Mike Noszka wasn’t going to repeat what happened two years ago.
“First quarter was on me,” Noszka said. “We played them two years ago down at their place. They blitzed us 34-19 doing exactly what they did tonight, which was get the ball to the middle against our press, get the ball to the three-(point line) and let their best shooters set up and shoot.
“I knew they did that two years ago. I should’ve gone back and showed the kids the film. I didn’t do it. I thought our pressure would overwhelm them. We fixed that at the end of the first quarter and we really fixed it at halftime.”
After the Hurricane adjusted, it clawed back to tie the game at 24 and eventually took its first lead of the game, 30-29, midway through the second quarter.
The teams traded baskets and Stewart rattled off four straight points to give Wilmington a 36-32 advantage 90 seconds later, and the Hurricane never looked back.
“Our kids made good adjustments, just getting focused on their shooters, and knowing who to leave and who not to leave,” Noszka said. “We were worried about No. 33 (Ryan Middendorf), too. He almost shoots at a 60 percent pace. We just said we’re not leaving (Kuhlman and Middendorf). Jarron, Alex (Miller), Chris (Wolary), (Jeffery) Mansfield and (Matt) Creditt guarded those guys. It was a team effort.”
Middendorf was the only other Hawk in double figures with 12 points. After the first quarter, Kuhlman just shot 3-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-5 from behind the arc.
Lakota East stayed within four points of the Hurricane until a Beaugard bucket and five straight from Cumberland gave Wilmington a 46-37 cushion with 2:28 to go in the third quarter.
That lead would eventually grow to 60-45, the largest of the night, with 3:23 left in the game, after an 11-0 flurry. Stewart and Cumberland hit a pair of free throws, Miller buried a jumper and then Cumberland converted an old-fashioned three-point play. Cumberland punctuated the run by blocking and snatching a Hawk shot attempt in one impressive motion, and getting the ball back on the other end for two more.
“We moved better without the basketball,” Noszka said. “Dylan and Cameron were more aggressive offensively. They were a couple of guys who stepped up for us scoring-wise. They really answered the call tonight.”
Cumberland 3rd in county
Jarron Cumberland, with his fourth point of the night, passed Sabina legend Phil Snow on the all-time Clinton County career scoring list.
Cumberland, who now has 1,832 career points, trails cousin and WHS career record holder Jaevin Cumberland, who stands at 1,846 career points.
Though there was a question about the total, Snow said he finished with 1,803 points for his illustrious, Hall of Fame career at SHS. Snow graduated from Sabina High School in 1964. One total had Snow with 1,830 career points. Either way, Cumberland passed Snow for third all-time.
The all-time scoring leader in Clinton County basketball history is the late Donnie Fields, who has 2,135 career points. Fields graduated from Port William High School in 1959.
Lakota East: Adkins, Emrick
Lakota East’s varsity squad is coached by Clint Adkins, a 1998 graduate of Wilmington High School.
Lakota East came into the game on a 5-game winning streak, all without the services of top scorer Andrew Emrick. The 6-8 senior played in the first three games but the ThunderHawks were just 1-2. Since he’s been out, Lakota East has defeated Colerain, Princeton, Lakota West, Middletown and Fairfield.
WHS reserve lose to East 37-22
The reserve Hurricane struggled in the second half Wednesday and lost to Lakota East 37-22.
Matt Smith led Wilmington with 10 points.
Zach Wyrick added 7 points and Alex Wright scored 3 points. Layne Griffith rounded out the scoring with 2 points
WHS freshmen drop 3rd straight
The Wilmington High School freshman basketball team dropped its third straight game Wednesday to Lakota East, 53-39, in non-conference action at Fred Summers Court.
Jake Vaughn led the Hurricane with 26 points.
Steve Sweeney tossed in 6 points and John Stewart added 4 points. Willie Morris had 2 points and Mason McIntosh rounded out the scoring with 1.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.