Lions provide victorious bounce back from Barkley Showcase, ward off late pressure from Waverly to secure 55-53 win at Keuka College Classic
By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
KEUKA PARK — The bounce back from the Dan Barkley Showcase this past weekend, was officially a green light for the Lions of Wellsville on Monday. To get it, they would have to navigate past a formidable foe — Section IV’s Waverly, winners of eight straight contests.
In the battle, it saw the Section IV reps break the door down with a strong start. But it was one that the Lions overcame to provide an even stronger finish to the first half.
With it, the team would excel to big heights with the help of Ethan Bailey, who gave the Lions a spark with a clutch three-pointer and a big charge drawn to jumpstart a third quarter that saw them break away and hold off a late push from Waverly in the last eight minutes, all in one swoop, as they scored a 55-53 win at the Keuka College Classic.
“We had huge minutes out of Ethan and Alex (Green). It’s so tough to come into big minutes after an injury and play that well. But we were to not skip a beat today because of them,” Lions coach Tom Muska said. “Ethan had an important three combined with a charge that swung the game. We gave one of their best players their fourth foul and allowed our run to take the lead back. He was a tough kid and it took us a bit to climb back, but they were right there at the end for the final shot.”
Joey Tomasso gave Waverly a start they wanted to have against the Lions (9-4), as he scored 13 of the team’s 20 points to create a 20-9 lead. Although Wellsville fell into an early hole, it was one that they were able to climb out of to make it a five-point game at the break, with Cody Costello and Asher Billings coming together for half of the team’s 16 points, including a pair of three-pointers, to carry a ball of momentum into the second half.
That ball of power would explode in the third quarter, when Logan Dunbar took over shop along with JJ Howard, as the two forces in Wellsville’s inside game lifted the team towards a tide-turning 19-7 run. Despite a late rally from Waverly in the last eight minutes, the run would provide just enough damage for the Lions to hang on for victory to complete their bounce back.
Dunbar led all scorers with a game-high 18 points, while Howard followed with 16 points of his own. Costello chipped in with 10 points to become Wellsville’s third and final scorer to eclipse double figures for the offense.
The Lions are now off until this upcoming weekend, when they continue their road swing on Saturday in a 3:30 p.m. battle against the Canisteo-Greenwood Redskins.
Wellsville 9 16 19 11 – 55
Waverly 20 10 7 16 – 53
WELLSVILLE: Cody Costello 3 2-2 10, Aidan Riley 0 1-4 1, Cooper Brockway 1 0-0 3, Asher Billings 1 0-0 3, Ethan Bailey 1 0-0 3, Logan Dunbar 8 1-2 18, Alex Green 0 1-2 1, JJ Howard 7 2-4 16. Totals: 21 7-14 55.
WAVERLY: Joey Tomasso 6 14-17 28, Hogan Shaw 2 0-0 5, Jay Pipher 1 0-0 2, Nate DeLill 4 0-0 10, Jake Vanhouten 1 2-2 5, Jacob Benjamin 1 1-2 3. Totals: 15 17-21 53.
3-point goals: Wellsville 6 (Costello 2, Brockway, Billings, Bailey, Dunbar), Waverly 6 (Tomasso 2, DeLill 2, Shaw, Vanhouten).
Total Fouls: Wellsville 13, Waverly 19. Fouled out: Tomasso (WAV), Vanhouten (WAV).