WILMINGTON — The Hurricane overcame a 15-point third-quarter deficit to beat South Central Ohio League rival Washington 79-75 Tuesday at Fred Summers Court.
The Lions (5-6, 4-2) used a barrage of 11 threes to put Wilmington in its hole. But only one of Washington’s bombs came after Griffin Shaw’s launch from behind the arc gave the Lions their largest lead of the night, 49-34 at the 5:22 mark of the third.
That’s when the Hurricane started doing what head coach Mike Nozska implored them to do heading out for the second-half tip.
“Aggression, confidence and relentlessness,” he said. “We want to be confident. I’ve never walked out of that locker room thinking we’re going to lose. (The players) have to be more confident in themselves, and they have every right to be because they work very hard and are successful when they do.
“Just not taking no for an answer was what really won the game for us.”
Dylan Beaugard started the comeback with a drive to the hoop plus two steals he fed to to Matt Smith to cut the Lions lead to single-digits in 24 seconds.
Washington’s lead hovered around there until the final half-minute of the third quarter when Smith cashed in a steal for an old-fashioned three-point play and Jeffery Mansfield took a steal the distance to pull Wilmington within 59-56 heading to the final period.
Beaugard scored Wilmington’s first six points of the final period to give the Hurricane their first lead of the night, 62-61.
Wilmington never trailed again, keeping the Lions at bay with offensive putbacks and free throws.
“Their kids didn’t get rattled,” WCH head coach Shannon Bartruff said. “We had them down at our place last year, and you can just see they kind of know they’re going to get back in the game. We gave up some offensive rebounds. Our turnovers turned into either runouts for scores or ‘and-1s.’ That gives them energy and gets the pace going quicker.”
Early on, the Lions were the kings of Fred Summers Court. They jumped out to an 8-0 lead on a pair of Dillon Steward threes. A pair of Griffin Shaw bombs keyed a 10-0 WCH run that staked the visitors to an 18-4 cushion.
Washington’s lead would stay in that neighborhood until the Hurricane comeback.
Four Lions reached double-figures, lead by Shaw with 22. Jarett Patton had 18 while Evan Upthegrove and Steward had 15 and 12, respectively.
Mansfield led the Hurricane (7-3, 4-1) with 25. Chris Wolary and Beaguard chipped in with 19 each.
The Blue Lions will play at Miami Trace Friday with the j-v game starting at 6 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
WCH – 27 11 21 16 – 75
WHS – 14 15 27 23 – 79
WCH (75) – Steward 4-2-12, Patton 8-0-18, E. Upthegrove 6-0-15, K. Upthegrove 2-0-4, Shaw 8-2-22, Burns 0-0-0, Proby 1-2-4. Total 29-6-75. 3-point goals: 11 (Shaw 4, E. Upthegrove 3, Patton 2, Steward 2). FTM-FTA 6-8, 75 percent.
WHS (79) – Gauche 0-0-0, Smith 4-1-9, Beaugard 7-3-19, Mansfield 9-6-25, Wolary 8-0-19, Evans 0-2-2, Griffith 2-0-5, Wright 0-0-0. Total 30-12-79. 3-point goals: 7 (Wolary 3, Beaugard 2, Griffith, Mansfield). FTM-FTA 12-19, 63 percent.