SPRINGFIELD – At the beginning of the season, Wilmington High School boys basketball coach Michael Noszka was told the most talented team in Southwest Ohio going into the 2015-16 season was the Springfield Wildcats.
“There was a purpose to playing this team at the end of the season,” Noszka said. “We wanted to really test our team before the tournament. Last year, we had like two weeks off before we played (in the tournament).”
Behind 37 points from Jarron Cumberland, Wilmington outlasted Springfield 60-47 Saturday night at the SHS gym.
“We were extremely poised in a tough atmosphere,” said Noszka.
Cumberland, who two days before set the WHS single-game and Clinton County career scoring records, played all 32 minutes and continued to dominate in all facets of the game – 37 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocked shots.
Cumberland now has 2,203 career points, good enough for 23rd all-time in Ohio prep boys basketball history.
The No. 5 Hurricane wraps up its regular season at 21-1. Springfield, with a game remaining this week, is 14-7.
Springfield’s losses are two against No. 1 ranked Wayne (once by 35 and once by 3), two against Centerville, one to Massillon Jackson and one to Pickerington Central.
Like the Hurricane, the Wildcats are the No. 4 seed in their sectional. Springfield is in the Dayton 2 Sectional at Butler High School. WHS is in the Cincinnati 5 Sectional at Fairfield High School.
Springfield opened with leads of 6-2 and 8-5 but a technical foul on the Wildcats sparked a Hurricane run. WHS scored the next 14 points, five by Cumberland, to take a 19-8 lead.
The Wildcats chipped away at the difference from the free throw line and pulled with 22-17 midway through the second.
Having four of five starters saddled with two fouls each, Wilmington held the ball over the final 77 seconds of the second quarter. Despite missing its final shot, WHS led 28-20 at the break.
Wilmington came back out from the intermission and went directly to the court for the first possession. Whether the lack of a warmup at the half had an impact, the Hurricane struggled early from the floor. Springfield pulled within 30-28 and secured a steal only to turn the ball back over to WHS.
As the Hurricane found its offensive stride, Cumberland and Dylan Beaugard drained back to back three-pointers late in the third to push the lead back to 10 at 46-36. The Wildcats made a move again, pulling with 46-41.
Then the game changed.
Cumberland, heating up on the chilly night, drilled a three-pointer. As the shot tickled the twine, Springfield was called for a foul away from the ball that gave WHS another possession. Cumberland thankfully took advantage of that with another three-pointer, 52-41, and the game was all but over.
Just for good measure, Cam Stewart – who earlier threaded the needle through the lane with a pass to Chris Wolary for two – then administered the final thorn in the side of the Wildcats when he found Cumberland alone under the basket for a 54-41 lead.
Feb 13, 2016
@Springfield High School
Wilmington 60 Springfield 47
(47) SPRINGFIELD (fg-3fg-ft-tp) McKay 6-3-0-15Arnold 0-0-0-0 Davis 6-1-4-17 Johnson 1-0-0-2 Harper 3-0-6-12 Underwood 0-0-0-0 Taylor 0-0-0-0 Ward 0-0-1-1. TOTALS 16-4-11-47
(60) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Stewart 1-1-3-6 Miller 2-0-0-4 Beaugard 1-1-0-3 Cumberland 11-6-9-37 Wolary 2-0-2-6 Morris 0-0-0-0 Smith 0-0-0-0 Mansfield 1-0-2-4. TOTALS 18-8-16-60
FIELD GOALS: S 16-44 (McKay 6-13 Davis 6-15 Harper 3-4); W 18-37 (Cumberland 11-18 Miller 2-4 Wolary 2-4)
3 PT FIELD GOALS: S 4-15 (McKay 3-4); W 78-16 (Cumberland 6-10 Beaugard 1-1)
FREE THROWS: S 11-17 (Harper 6-10 Davis 4-5); W 16-21 (Cumberland 9-10 Stewart 3-4 Mansfield 2-3 Wolary 2-2)
REBOUNDS: S-22 (Davis 5 Harper 5 Johnson 3 Ward 3); W-29 (Cumberland 10 Beaugard 5 Miller 4 Wolary 4 Stewart 2)
ASSISTS: S-6 (Arnold 2); W-13 (Stewart 6 Cumberland 4 Beaugard 2)
STEALS: S-10 (Davis 6 Taylor 3); W-5 (Cumberland 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: S-1; W-3 (Cumberland 3)
TURNOVERS: S-12; W-17
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.