Quakers looking to build off win

January 8, 2013

Sophomore Dwight Johnson is ranked second in the OAC in steals and third in assists.

Sophomore Dwight Johnson is ranked second in the OAC in steals and third in assists.

Coming off their first win in more than three weeks, the Wilmington men’s basketball team will be looking to string back-to-back wins together for the second time this season. The Fightin’ Quakers, according to head coach K.C. Hunt, has to get better in playing “two-tempo” basketball to start building momentum. (Game Notes, Live Stats)

“We want to make them play faster than they want,” said Hunt. “We have to get more out of our transition offense. We have done a good job of getting quality possessions (in the halfcourt).”

Wilmington is still working on getting junior transfer Jordan Berlin (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) comfortable with the system and Hunt acknowledges, “it’s a work in progress.” However, his goal for the Quakers is “to win the day”.

“Hopefully at the end of the season, we will playing our best basketball,” said Hunt.

Senior Brandon Candella (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) is continuing his fantastic senior season, averaging a team-high 15.0 points with 4.5 rebounds. His 44 percent field goal shooting is the highest of his career, and the forward has tallied double figures in all but one game this season.

Junior Malcolm Heard (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) is coming off a season-high 24 points in the win over John Carroll, and is averaging 13.6 points per game. He also leads the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) is steals with 2.31 per game, and is second in blocks (1.54 per game).

The key for Wilmington could be players like sophomore Dwight Johnson (Dayton, OH/Jefferson), Klarke Ransome (Richwood, OH/North Union) and Ben Vonderhaar (Cincinnati, OH/Colerain) to take some of the scoring load off Heard and Candella.

Otterbein brings a balanced attacked and a four-game losing streak into Wednesday’s game with the Fightin’ Quakers. More importantly, the Cardinals could bring in some hard feelings and the will to prove their 100-62 dismantling by Capital was a fluke. Despite the 38-point loss, Hunt isn’t viewing his opponent any different.

“That was a throwaway game,” said Hunt. “Capital played great and Otterbein didn’t do anything well. I don’t look at Otterbein any differently. They have some quality wins on their schedule. The next opponent up is a quality one. They are an up and down team, a lot like us. They are a good, physically strong OAC team.”

Junior forward Max Van Meter leads a trio of double-figure scorers with 11.6 points per game and 6.8 rebounds. Senior Zack Bakenhaster adds 10.7 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds, while sophomore Andy Yazrombek drops in 10.2 points per contest. Freshman Jake Bischoff scored 22 points against Capital in just his second game of the season for an 11.5 ppg average.

Hunt said the Cardinals would like to play the high-low game with Van Metter and Bakenhaster, while surrounding the duo with capable shooters. They have three players – Yazrombek (10-of-29, 35%), sophomore Matt McCollister (17-of-49, 35%) and junior C.J. Julian (16-of-40, 40%) - making at least 35 percent of their three-point attempts.