CINCINNATI -- The goals for the Wilmington boys’ basketball team are still intact. It is one game away from the state tournament in Columbus.
Wilmington senior shooting guard Jarron Cumberland scored 22 points as the Hurricane defeated Moeller 40-37 Wednesday night in a Division I regional semifinal at Cintas Center.
Wilmington (26-1) plays Centerville (16-10) in the regional final Saturday at Cintas Center. The time has yet to be announced.
“I told the kids to celebrate hard because they have to celebrate quick,” Wilmington coach Mike Noszka said. “I’m happy for them. They deserve it.”
Cumberland, a University of Cincinnati signee, also tied for No. 16 on the Ohio High School Athletic Association career points list on his second free throw with 42.7 seconds remaining.
Cumberland finished with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Wilmington led 20-19 at halftime. Cumberland’s second 3-pointer of the third quarter gave the Hurricane a 26-21 advantage at the 6:49 mark. But Moeller went on a 5-0 run to end the quarter and led 32-29 entering the fourth.
Cumberland made two field goals to open the fourth quarter. The teams traded 3-pointers, but Wilmington maintained its lead down the stretch.
Cumberland made two free throws to give Wilmington a 38-35 lead with 42 seconds remaining. Wilmington outscored Moeller 11-5 in the fourth quarter.
“No. 34 – we expect him to step up every night,” Noszka said.
Wilmington defeated Moeller in the teams' second meeting this season. Moeller won the regular-season matchup back in January.
“I tip my hat – they’re really a solid, solid basketball team,” Moeller coach Carl Kremer said.
Noszka said he knew it would be a low-scoring game. Wilmington’s goal was to hold Moeller to 35 points.
“We were very, very tough with the basketball, and we were very, very tough defensively,” Noszka said.
Sophomore guard Dylan Beaugard had nine points, including two 3-pointers for Wilmington.
Beaugard and senior guard Cameron Stewart were efficient defensively.
“I think they are really good defensively,” Kremer said. “I thought it was difficult for us to get good open looks.”
Kremer said he was incredibly proud of his team – a team that finished with a 23-4 record and played a rugged schedule of competition in and out of state. Moeller was also the GCL South co-champions.
“Just incredibly great kids, and I think they fought for us and gave us everything they had,” Kremer said. “We thought that we can compete with anyone, and we still believe that. Just sometimes it doesn’t go your way. Just really proud of our guys.”
Moeller sophomore point guard Isaiah Payton had 12 points, including two 3-pointers. He also had three rebounds and an assist
Centerville 37, Lakota East 36: Senior forward Andrew Emrick had 13 points and 10 rebounds in his final game for the Thunderhawks (18-8), which made their second regional tournament appearance in school history and the first since 2011. Lakota East outscored Centerville 17-3 in the second quarter but Centerville held Lakota East to just four points in the quarter. Centerville (17-10) was led by senior guard Kevin Meiners with 12 points and four rebounds.