WC, Purple Raiders meet with third seed at stake
February 15, 2013
~ Senior Taylor Kin ~
For the Wilmington College men’s basketball team, the mission is clear. Win Saturday’s game at Mount Union, and the Fightin’ Quakers will secure the three seed in the upcoming Ohio Athletic Conference tournament. (Game Notes, Live Stats)
“Obviously, it’s a real big game for us as a basketball team,” said head coach K.C. Hunt. “We still control our own destiny. We win, and we are the three seed. We lose, and God knows what happens. We just have to play as hard as we can and play the best Wilmington basketball possible.”
Even with a loss, however, the Fightin’ Quakers could still earn a bye in the postseason tournament and earn the four seed. The one scenario that will send Wilmington into Monday’s opening round game, has WC falling to Mount Union, Ohio Northern winning at Capital and John Carroll beating Marietta.
Wilmington will have to overcome the emotional edge the Purple Raiders carry into the game as they will celebrate the achievements of their senior class.
“We will have to play with our own emotion,” said Hunt.
It took the Fightin’ Quakers two overtimes to finally dispatch Mount Union in the first meeting, 108-102. Hunt does point out that Wilmington had a 13-point second-half lead, and was forced to play the last 10 minutes of regulation and both overtimes without the services of leading scorer Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington). The junior forward was hampered by foul trouble and played just 18 minutes in the game.
Heard is fifth in the OAC with 16.5 points and second with 8.0 rebounds.
Senior Brandon Candella (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) and sophomore Dwight Johnson (Dayton, OH/Jefferson) helped pick up the slack with 24 points each. On the season, Candella is averaging 14.7 points, while Johnson added 8.5 points. The team’s leading distributor, Johnson has 85 assists on the season.
Mount Union had four players do the bulk of their scoring in the loss. The quartet, led by Nate Jacubec, scored 91 of the team’s 102 points. Jacubec finished with 31 points, while Steve Griffin (25), Jarrett Griffin (19) and Taylor Moore (15) contributed mightily.