DuBOIS — The Wilmington High boys basketball team lost a heartbreaker last night.
The Greyhounds were ousted from the PIAA Class 2A playoffs with a 38-36 second-round loss to Ridgway at DuBois High School.
The game went back and forth throughout, with multiple lead changes before District 9 champion Ridgway (24-3) got what proved to be the final bucket with 30 seconds remaining. Wilmington, the second-place team out of District 10, closes its season at 17-9.
Most of the team’s top players were members of the PIAA runner-up football squad.
“The kids were very disappointed on the bus ride home,” Greyhounds coach Mike Jeckavitch said. “It was a very odd game, but one we could have won. We didn’t play our best basketball, didn’t shoot well and turned the ball over too much.
“So while I’m sad that the season is over, these guys have been winners throughout their careers. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to coach them.”
The game got off to an extremely slow start. The teams were tied 6-6 after one quarter, with Ridgway leading 12-10 at the half.
“This is a team that runs its motion offense and looks for the best possible shot,” Jeckavitch said. “They take 1-2 minutes off each possession. And when we had the ball, we were just cold and didn’t take many shots.
“Right before the half, we had a two-point lead and they hit a layup and stole the inbounds pass, so they scored four points in about 5 seconds time.”
Jeckavitch says he made some adjustments at halftime that helped pick up the pace.
“We started to trap and force the tempo to get the pace back up,” he said. “We went on a 4-0 run, then they went on a 6-0 run. It just went back and forth.”
Wilmington had a 36-35 lead with 1:05 to go when Tage Kelliher missed a layup. “It was a good take, he just missed it,” Jeckavitch said.
Ridgway hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining. With 10 seconds left, Robert Pontius put up a 3-pointer for Wilmington, but it was blocked. Ridgway was fouled and missed a one-and-one, but got its own rebound and the game ended.
Jeckavitch bids farewell to Kelliher, Pontius, Richards, Cameron Marett, Danny Hanssen, Jacob Yohman and Bryce Endrizzi.
“This group has taken our program to where it hasn’t been in the past,” Jeckavitch said. “So now the groundwork has been laid for success and we hope to continue on that.”
WILMINGTON VS. RIDGWAY
PIAA CLASS 2A PLAYOFFS AT DUBOIS
Cameron Marett 3 0-0 8, Colton Richards 4 2-3 10, Jacob Yohman 2 0-0 4, Danny Hanssen 1 0-0 3, Tage Kelliher 3 0-0 6, Robert Pontius 1 1-2 3, Shane Cox 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 3-5 36.
Matt Dush 2 0-0 4, Jake Reynolds 4 2-2 13, Parker Rohr 1 0-0 2, Dante Alligretto 3 0-1 6, Zack Zameroski 2 0-0 4, Will Thompson 4 1-4 9. Totals: 16 3-7 38.
WILMINGTON 6 4 14 12 — 36
RIDGWAY 6 6 15 11 — 38
3-point goals — Wilmington 3 (Marett 2, Hanssen 1), Ridgway 3 (Reynolds 3).