By BRANDON JUDEH
In what turned out to be a white-knuckle, edge-of-your-seat game, the Wellsville boys basketball team defeated Sebring 50-47 to advance to the Division IV district final.
Wellsville only has one senior on their team and head coach David Thompson Sr. knows that many doubted his young inexperienced team.
“There were a lot of naysayers, but I have confidence in these kids, they play and practice very hard.”
With the Tigers (13-9) up by six with two minutes left, the game looked like it may be over.
Sebring had other ideas.
The Trojans drew an offensive foul, caused a turnover and Wellsville missed a layup, which caused Sebring to cut the lead to three.
“I was about to have a heart attack,” Thompson said. “My guys missed some easy layups, I was going crazy out there.”
With Sebring down by three with 12.6 seconds left, they opted to go for a quick two rather than tie the game. Jake Hubbs took the inbounds pass, but missed a 5-foot shot.
Two Wellsville free throws later the game was over and the young Tigers celebrated on the sidelines.
Sophomore Camden Douglas came up big, hitting four 3 pointers and scoring a game-high 21 points.
“It feels really good, coming out here with a young team and winning, it was kind of unexpected, but we came together as a team and won,” Douglas said.
Hubbs scored 13 points for the Trojans while Wellsville’s Josh Carter added 10 points and five rebounds.
MOGADORE 58, SOUTHERN 46
Mogadore used an 18-0 run that spanned two quarters to defeat Southern.
The brunt of the run took place in the first 3:22 of the second period. It was spearheaded by senior Michael Duma who scored a game high 18 points and hit four three pointers.
Several Southern (11-11) turnovers led to nine of the Wildcats (18-5) 18 points.
“We knew rebounding was going to be tough for us, but they execute well and they are a little more physical than us,” said Southern coach George Whittaker. “We missed our fair share of easy shots, if we make those we would have been in the game.”
Southern bounced back by playing well in the latter part of the quarter to cut the deficit to eight points.
With the lead still at eight, mid-way through the fourth quarter, Mogadore pulled away with clutch free throws by Duma and Hunter Van Camp.
“Sometimes we got a little careless with the ball out there and a couple of our guys couldn’t make the outside shots, but overall are game plan was to be patient and take good shots,” Whittaker said.
Leading the Indians were Jared Shilot with 12 points and Luke Griffith with 10 points.