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Wright erupts for 28 points in a sectional loss to Cambridge

By TODD REED News Leader Sports Editor Published: March 9, 2017 12:00 AM
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For 32 minutes Connor Wright did everything he could to will his team to a post-season win.

But on this night, Cambridge was the better team as it advanced to the sectional final with a 67-48 win over Minerva.

The 10th-seeded Bobcats won each quarter as they improved to 10-13. The Lions saw its season come to an end at 13-10.

Wright was consist at the offensive, scoring at least six points in each of the four quarters. The junior finished with a game-high 28 points and now has 914 career points. He also grabbed four steals and dished out three assists.

Adam Gross had eight points and eight boards; and Brock Croston had six points and seven rebounds.

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Cambridge used its height advantage to dominate the boards 38-27. It was able to disrupt the passing lanes, forcing Minerva to handle the ball farther away from the basket than it is accustomed to.

The Bobcats jumped out to a 16-11 advantage after the opening eight minutes of play and never trailed the rest of the way. They took a 29-18 lead into halftime, and stretched their advantage to 47-32 entering the final frame.

Minerva struggled from the field all night long, connecting on 18-of-59 shots. The Lions were 7-of-13 from the charity stripe.

The Bobcats were 21-of-37 from the floor and 19-of-25 from the line.

"We just didn't play well tonight," stated Head Coach Shawn Green. "It's really as simple as that. We struggled to make shots from the perimeter all night and their size and length bothered us around the rim.

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"Falling behind in the first quarter put us in chase mode for most of the game and that affected how we wanted to play. We gave up too many easy baskets trying to gamble and make up our deficit quickly.

"Connor did a great job getting through their defense. He faced constant denials and extra defenders helping on him, but he found a way to put in 28 points. It was a very impressive offensive performance from him tonight.

"I really want to give praise to our four seniors who played their last game for our program. Every basketball season comes to an end with a loss and we are very disappointed that ours came this early in the tournament. But, I don't want what these seniors have done for this program and our team to go unnoticed.

"Adam Gross, Blaine Neikirk, Jack Hanley and Brett Russell did everything I asked of them in the three years since my hire. I told them after the game that I wish this season could go on for a while, because all of the coaches truly loved coming to the gym with these guys each day. I will miss them, but they will look back on this season as a great success, on and off the court. Thank you seniors."

Connor Leppla led Cambridge with 20 points. Jamison Lowery and Alex Masinelli each had 14 points, and Kohl Ward chipped in with 11 points.

It was a year of drastic improvement for the Lions. Minerva posted five-wins seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

With most of their talent back, the Lions increased their win total to 13, finished fourth in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference standings at 8-8, and hosted the school's first-ever tournament game.


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