SULLIVAN TWP. — With a huge game against one-loss Brookside just a week away, Friday’s Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division game with Black River had all the makings of a trap game for Wellington.
Riding a six-game winning streak, it might have been easy to overlook the Pirates and focus on next week’s pivotal game, but someone forgot to tell that to the Dukes.
Wellington dominated three of the four quarters in a 75-31 win behind a three-pronged attack.
It came with a first quarter in which the Pirates (1-6, 0-5) were outscored 17-2.
It continued in a third in which the Dukes (7-1, 5-0) went on a 17-6 run to put away any doubts of a Black River comeback.
And it concluded with the Pirates scoring only five points in the fourth quarter.
“We came in here ticked off,” said Dukes forward Jason Perry, who led all scorers with 13 points. “We were going to set the tone early tonight and that’s what we did. As a team, we came out and busted our butts and played together. We always concentrate on defense. We need to push hard, get steals, get rebounds and just go.”
That’s exactly what Wellington did in the first quarter, forcing nine turnovers, outrebounding the Pirates 14-7 and holding Black River without a basket for 7:10.
With the help of nine blocked shots, the Dukes had their best defensive showing of the season.
“We had a slow start and a lot of that is credited to Wellington,” Black River coach Dan Brunker said. “They came out and played well.
“They’re a very good team. They’re very talented. Their execution was very good tonight.”
Their execution bordered on incredible as Wellington spread the wealth with Nathan Gray (nine points), Brady Shaw (eight points, six rebounds, five assists), David Clark (eight points) and Nathan Starkey (seven points) putting the pedal down and never letting up.
John Guilford led Black River with 11 points.
The difference came in the third quarter where Wellington took a
15-point halftime advantage and turned it into a 29-point lead at the end of three.
“We said our defense would lead our offense,” Wellington coach Dan Gundert said. “We needed some fast breaks and easy baskets. That’s when the energy turned. They say the first two minutes are big to set the tone. We came through with some easy baskets and big turnovers to get things going.”
With the Pirates behind them, the Dukes set their sights on a Tuesday matchup with Firelands before Friday’s game at Brookside (7-1, 4-1).
Wellington knows it needs to keep pace with Keystone (6-2, 5-0), but can’t look past the Cardinals, who lost 36-34 to the Wildcats on Friday.
“They have a good team this year,” Perry said. “They’ve beat Avon and Elyria Catholic, which are really good teams. It’s going to be a battle.”
Contact Brad Bournival at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wellington 75, Black River 31
WELLINGTON (75): Jason Perry 4-4-13, Zac Gilbert 1-1-3, Brady Shaw 3-1-8, Ethan Herman 2-0-4, Nathan Starkey 3-1-7, Dylan Kidd 0-5-5, Nathan Gray 4-1-9, Dylan Weidrick 4-0-8, David Clark 4-0-8, Nathan Carroll 1-0-2, Freddy Senghas 1-4-6, Tim Young 1-0-2. Totals 28-17-75.
BLACK RIVER (31): Tyler Potter 2-0-4, Zach Sword 2-0-4, Tom Ziebro 2-0-4, Andrew Vaughn 0-0-0, Gus Kazek 0-2-2, Dean Finkel 2-1-6, John Guilford 5-1-1, Jared Herb 0-0-0, Caleb Stiver 0-0-0. Totals 13-4-31.
Wellington 17 12 26 20 — 75
Black River 2 12 12 5 — 31
Three-point goals: Wellington 2 (Perry, Shaw), Black River (Finkel). Rebounds: Wellington 37 (Perry 6, Shaw 6), Black River 25 (Potter 6). Assists: Wellington 16 (Shaw 5), Black River 11 (Guilford 3). Junior varsity: Wellington, 42-23