14-1 run sparks Wooster to win over Jackets
MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon boys basketball team did just enough to keep it close, but couldn’t overcome a 14-1 run in the first half and fell 56-47 at home to Wooster in Ohio Cardinal Conference play Friday night at the Hive.
Evan Boatwright had 14 points, 10 rebounds and a pair of steals; Blake Meyer added 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals to lead the Yellow Jackets, who closed within seven points in the third quarter after trailing by as many as 15 in the first half.
“I think when we were tough with the basketball, we got a lot of really good shots,” MV coach Nick Coon said. “I don’t think we converted as much as we needed to — especially in the first and third quarters. I thought we had opportunities and we let them slip away.”
Reece Mitchell, Ezra McKee and Braydon Hamilton each knocked down 3-pointers to key the 14-1 run for the Generals, who knocked down six of their seven long balls in the first half.
Mitchell’s triple came off an Owen Roach feed to give Wooster a 9-6 lead with 4:02 remaining in the opening period.
Tyler Pattorini tipped one in at the buzzer to push the lead to 18-7 at the end of one and Roach added a basket early in the second quarter to cap the rally.
“(We were) fighting an uphill battle from the start,” Coon said. “Fortunately, our kids battled and competed and that was good to see them fighting together. But to take a step forward as a basketball team – we have to understand the value of every possession in a game and not just think it all comes down to late game situations.”
Wooster’s pressure defense produced five steals in the first quarter alone and 11 for the game.
“That’s been our M.O. all year — pressure, pressure, pressure — and we know our run is going to come,” Wooster coach Michael Snowbarger said. “We gave a up a couple of layups. But in the end (we) got our run (because) we stuck with it.”
“The first quarter matters just as much in the scheme of things and the small details matter,” Coon said. “We are getting better at that, but we’re not quite there yet to get over the hump – especially against a good basketball team.”
Roach and McKee added 3-pointers in the second quarter as the Generals pushed the lead as high as 15 with 2:34 remaining in the half.
But the Jackets (3-5, 2-2) rallied for seven straight points, capped by a Connor Fisher trey with 21 seconds left to pull within 29-21 at the half.
MV got it at close as seven in the third quarter before Wooster went on an 8-2 run late in the frame before pushing the lead to 17 in the fourth quarter before the Yellow Jackets closed the gap late.
Roach led the Generals (9-0, 5-0) with 15 points and three steals; Ezra McKee added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists and Micah McKee chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds, three steals and a couple of assists for the Generals (9-0, 5-0).
“I don’t necessarily like how we finished the game. But a win is a win and, in the conference, you take it however you can get it,” Snowbarger said.
MV is right back at it today when it travels to rival Newark in non-league play. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“It sure doesn’t get easier,” Coon said. “The Newark-Mount Vernon is a different type of intensity game. It’s always high-level intensity and high-level passion. We’ve got to learn from this, but get over it quickly because we’ve got a battle tomorrow.”
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