WELLINGTON — Wellington may have led wire-to-wire against Keystone, but it sure wasn’t easy in its 82-70 win in Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division action Friday night.
The Dukes only missed 11 shots from the floor all night, going 24 of 35 (69 percent) and their aggressiveness got them to the free throw line 38 times.
After an innocent first half with Wellington leading 36-29, the Dukes built a 61-42 lead before Keystone was able to chop that deficit to three points with just under four minutes left to play.
“That was everything you would want in a basketball game,” Wellington coach Dan Gundert said. “This is the first time in a long time that we shared the basketball and let the offense come to us.
“We did a really good job against that zone moving the basketball and getting open shots. We were really unselfish and Noah (Diermeyer) was on the backside a lot hitting shots.”
The Dukes, now 11-10 overall and 8-7 in the PAC, shot the ball well, but the third quarter was special as Wellington knocked down 8 of 10 en route to a 58-40 advantage.
Diermyer was at the heart of the offensive explosion, scoring 13 of his game-high 27 points, giving the Dukes a seemingly-safe cushion on the scoreboard.
“We came out in the second half with the intent of making the extra pass to get good shots and make the easy play,” said Diermyer, who also pulled down eight rebounds. “This was our Super Bowl, this is a game I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Someday in the future I’ll see one of my teammates and we’ll talk about the time Keystone came in here and we kicked them out.”
Ben Bliss (eight points) started the fourth quarter with a 3-point play for the largest lead of the night at 61-42, but that’s when the Wildcats’ Matt Mealwitz had a stretch of basketball that he may talk about in the future. The ’Cats (10-11, 9-6) went on a 20-4 run to get back within striking distance.
Jacob Shackelford and Sean Saterlee (11 points) started the run with five and two points, but Mealwitz scored 11 straight, including three straight 3-pointers, as he closed the game with a team-high 16 points.
“It was bad watching that from the bench after I picked up some dumb fouls,” said Ryan Whitaker who finished with 20 points. “It hurt to watch that, but our guys pulled it together and we were able to hold the lead and pull that out.
“Our record may not be where we want it to be, but these are the ones you remember. We came out with the 82-70 win and our guys worked so hard tonight to get a win in a big rivalry game.”
In addition to Diermyer and Whitaker, Wellington got double digit scoring from Mason McClellan (15 points) and Brandon Orozco (12 points).
“They (Wellington) came out with more energy, we talked about how the first two minutes were going to be crucial,” Keystone coach Jeff Holzhauer said. “I don’t know what Wellington had to play for or what we had to play for, besides the rivalry, and it meant a lot more to the kids in their locker room than it meant to our kids.”
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Wellington 82, Keystone 70
KEYSTONE (70): Kollin Rodick 3-3-11, Ashton White 1-0-3, Kevin Mealwitz 3-0-7, Matt Mealwitz 6-0-16, Dylan Naylor 1-2-5, Mason Strader 1-2-4, Bryan Sayers 3-1-7, Sean Saterlee 5-0-11, Jacob Shackelford 2-2-6. Totals 25-10-70.
WELLINGTON (82): Cole Standen 0-0-0, Ryan Whitaker 6-8-20, Noah Diermyer 8-6-27, Ben Bliss 3-1-8, Mason McClellen 3-9-15, Wyat Sasack 0-0-0, Brandon Orozco 4-3-12, Nick Laposky 0-0-0, Troy Cole 0-0-0, Jacob Shaver 0-0-0, Caleb Teague 0-0-0. Totals 24-27-82.
Keystone 14 15 11 30 — 70
Wellington 19 17 22 24 — 82
Three-point goals: Keystone 10-36 (28 percent, M. Mealwitz 4, Rodick 2, Waite, K. Mealwitz, Naylor, Saterlee); Wellington 7-13 (54 percent, Diermeyer 5, Bliss, Orozco). Field goals: Keystone 25-57 (44 percent); Wellington 24-35 (69 percent). Free throws: Keystone 10-14 (71 percent); Wellington 27-38 (71 percent). Rebounds: Keystone 23, Wellington 29. Turnovers: Keystone 13, Wellington 16. Fouled Out: K. Mealwitz.
Junior varsity: Wellington, 25-24.