WC returns to scene of season-ending heartbreak

December 17, 2012

~ Junior Taylor Wellman ~

~ Junior Taylor Wellman ~

The last time the Wilmington men’s basketball team walked off the court at the Capital Center, the Quakers were smarting from a season-ending loss to the Crusaders in the Ohio Athletic Conference championship game.

Wilmington travels to Bexley 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for an OAC game against Capital. The Crusaders enter the game unbeaten in the league and on a four-game winning streak. The Fightin’ Quakers are coming off a tough home loss to Baldwin-Wallace to fall to 1-2 in the league, 4-5 overall.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” said Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt of the 2012-13 season. “We have to be more fluid on offense. Get back to the team that averaged 17 assists per game. We have to rebound better because Capital is a very physical team.

“I still believe we are the best team in the league,” Hunt continued. “We have to stop talking about it. Hopefully, we are playing our best ball when it matters.”

The biggest difference for the Crusaders, who were 2-4 in their non-conference schedule, is their defense. Capital is allowing nearly seven points less in its OAC games, down to 62.8 from 69.2. They are also scoring two more points per game in conference action.

Senior Spencer Niekamp leads the Crusaders in 12.4 points per game, but has increased his scoring output to 14.0 ppg in OAC contests. He is also the team’s leading rebounder with 6.0 boards per game. Despite averaging just 5.7 points on the season, senior Tim Congrove has been one of CU’s better offensive threats in the last four games. In OAC play, Congrove is scoring 11.8 ppg.

Senior Michael Sommer is the other Crusader in double figures with 10.8 ppg, although he is only averaging 8.8 in league play.

After failing to reach double digits for the first time this season, senior Brandon Candella (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) will look to get back in the saddle against Capital. Junior Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) leads the team with 14.0 ppg.

Getting a third scorer could be beneficial for the Quakers. The last game it was sophomore Dwight Johnson (Dayton, OH/Jefferson), who tallied a career-high 14 points.