Friday, March 03, 2000

Wyoming holds off upset

Cowboys too much for Mariemont

Enquirer contributor

        Wyoming won't be heading out of Cincinnati on the tournament trail as Cinderella this year. The Cowboys have advanced beyond that. Thursday, their job was to do away with Cinderella.

        Wyoming got that dirty work done in convincing fashion, pressuring Mariemont into a 70-32 surrender in the Sycamore Division III boys lower bracket sectional title game. Wyoming (16-7) advances to a district title game, tentatively set for 7:15p.m. Wednesday at University of Dayton Arena.

        Mariemont had put a 4-16 regular season behind it to win two straight tournament games, including an upset Monday of No.2 seed Finneytown. Wyoming never let Mariemont's hopes get off the ground Thursday.

        “I thought it was our pressure, our up-tempo style,” Wyoming guard Keir Lehman said of what most affected Mariemont. “By the second quarter, I noticed they were all getting tired. I thought we could have played a lot better, but in the end it worked out.”

        Both teams had problems with offensive execution — during one stretch in the second quarter, 19 possessions and nearly five minutes on the clock passed without a point being scored. But Wyoming had made sure that didn't matter by hitting four 3-pointers in the first quarter and building a 20-9 advantage.

        “The previous times they've played us, they hurt us with full-court pressure,” Mariemont coach David Wainscott said. “Tonight, they just got in the passing lanes. They caused us to panic.”

        “We decided we wanted to pressure them,” first-year Wyoming coach Tony Gentry said. “Our defense was great tonight, and that's what got us over.”

        Adam Monday, Wyoming's leading scorer at nearly 18 points a game, didn't score until just before coming out with 5:28 left in the game and only had two points. Other Cowboys missed easy shots. But Lehman had eight in the first half and junior point guard Jeff Davis came off the bench to provide a huge lift with all 10 of his points and two steals in the first half.

        Wyoming's lead by half was 30-11, and it only grew after halftime. Ma riemont's Branden Fisher, who led all scorers with 13 points, had nine of his team's 11 points at halftime.

        This was the fourth straight year Wyoming has been in the sectional title game at Sycamore. Reading upset Wyoming last year, but the previous two years, Wyoming had advanced to the regional tournament despite having sub-.500 regular-season records.

        “We played a murderous schedule and our league is one of the toughest in Ohio as far as Division III,” said Gentry, who had been Wyoming's freshman coach the previous seven years. “Nothing is going to intimidate us.”

        Wyoming's district opponent won't be determined until Saturday. The game time on the next game also could be subject to adjustment, since Wyoming's girls basketball team would be scheduled to play at 8p.m. Wednesday if they win a district title this weekend.

        WYOMING (70) — Kessel 0 2 2, Dantzler 0 3 3, Lehman 3 3 11, Patch 2 5 10, Gale 2 0 5, Davis 3 2 10, Pope 2 0 4, Pridonoff 3 2 8, Monday 1 0 2, Tollett 1 2 4, Payne 5 1 11. Totals: 22 20 70.

        MARIEMONT (32) — Gray 1 0 2, Minor 2 0 4, Hindert 1 0 2, Fisher 5 1 13, Clasen 1 0 2, Reynolds 1 0 2, Weissman 0 1 1, Johnson 2 0 4, Startsman 1 0 2. Totals: 14 2 32. Wyoming 20-10-18-22-70 Mariemont 9-2-12-9-32

        3-pointers: W - Lehman 2, Patch, Gale, Davis 2; M - Fisher 2. Records: W 16-7, M 6-17.


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