Wilmington basketball eyes another District crown

Wilmington must replace four key pieces to last year's success.

Wilmington Greyhounds High School Basketball

2017-18 Wilmington Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Mike Jeckavitch
Record: 19-8 (11-3), 3rd place in Region 2

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
Wilmington saw their win total jump by 7 victories (12 to 19) last year. The Greyhounds also captured their first District 10 title following their 59-51 win over West Middlesex.

Coach Mike Jeckavitch points out, “We have a lot of experience coming back, a toughness about them, and the ability to play solid defensively.” A pair of juniors – Cameron Marett (2.6 ppg, 3 apg) and Robert Pontius (9.8 ppg, 4 rpg) – return as starters. Pontius has been described by Jeckavitch as a “smooth stretch 4”. Also back in the fold is senior Colton Marett (3.1 ppg, 3 rpg) and a quartet of juniors in Daniel Hanssen (3.9 ppg), Tage Kelliher, Colton Richards, and Jacob Yohman.

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 8 – Laurel Tip-Off Tournament
Dec. 9 – Laurel Tip-Off Tournament
Dec. 12 – Hickory, 7:30
Dec. 13 – at Commodore Perry, 7:30
Dec. 15 – at George Junior Republic, 7:30
Dec. 22 – at Rocky Grove, 7:30
Dec. 27 – Neshannock Holiday Tournament
Dec. 29 – Neshannock Holiday Tournament
Jan. 3 – Mercer, 7:30
Jan. 5 – at West Middlesex, 7:30
Jan. 6 – Mohawk, 2
Jan. 9 – Sharpsville, 7:30
Jan. 12 – at Reynolds, 7:30
Jan. 16 – at Greenville, 7:30
Jan. 19 – Lakeview, 7:30
Jan. 23 – Rocky Grove, 7:30
Jan. 26 – at Mercer, 7:30
Jan. 30 – West Middlesex, 7:30
Feb. 2 – at Sharpsville, 7:30
Feb. 6 – Reynolds, 7:30
Feb. 9 – Greenville, 7:30
Feb. 13 – at Lakeview, 7:30

Challenges
Coach Jeckavitch must fill the void lost by the graduation of Spencer DeMedal, Reese Bender, Joey Pezzano and Tyler Kish. DeMedal led the team in points (20.7), rebounds (9), assists (4), steals (3) and blocked shots (2) per contest. Bender scored an average of 5.7 point while sinking 32 three-pointers. Pezzano led the team in three-point baskets (44) as he scored 5.7 points per outing. Kish put together a stat line of 5.5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists for the 19-win Greyhound bunch. Tyler also took team-high honors in free throw percentage by making 44 of 61 attempts (72.1%).

“(At Wilmington), we have a lack of a potential preseason with having over 75% of the team playing (successful) football,” says Jeckavitch. “We also have to replace a 1,600-point scorer and Second-Team All-State performer (DeMedal), our most vocal leader (Bender) not to mention Tyler (Kish) and Joey (Pezzano).”

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 47.6% (111-122)
League Championships: None
State Playoff Record: 1-1
District Championships: 1 (2017)

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 59.0
Scoring Defense: 47.8

2016-17 Results
Bishop Canevin 61 Greyhounds 52*
Greyhounds 69 Chartiers-Houston 38*
Greyhounds 59 West Middlesex 51*
Greyhounds 53 Cambridge Springs 39*
Greyhounds 65 Lakeview 52*
Greyhounds 64 Lakeview 63
Greyhounds 49 Greenville 40
Greyhounds 44 Reynolds 34
Greyhounds 58 Sharpsville 48
Greyhounds 66 West Middlesex 62
Greyhounds 66 Mercer 39
Rocky Grove 56 Greyhounds 49
Greyhounds 64 Lakeview 44
Greenville 61 Greyhounds 47
Greyhounds 60 Reynolds 46
Greyhounds 57 Sharpsville 36
Greyhounds 71 Mohawk 37
Greyhounds 52 West Middlesex 33
Greyhounds 66 Mercer 34
Greyhounds 65 Ellwood City 43
Neshannock 54 Greyhounds 51
Rocky Grove 60 Greyhounds 55
Hickory 72 Greyhounds 65
Greyhounds 65 Shenango 44
Greyhounds 66 Commodore Perry 23
Riverside 47 Greyhounds 46
Laurel 72 Greyhounds 68
*-Post-season

Key Number
The ‘Hounds won their first District title since 1987. The Class AA WPIAL final that year (1987) saw Wilmington defeat Bentworth, 88-62.

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