In a game that could end up having significant league title implications, the Poly Jackrabbits started out hot, taking an 18-0 lead, and never looking back as they went on to defeat the Wilson Bruins 59-49—Poly improves to 12-2, and is now 2-0 in the Moore League. The Bruins fall to 13-5, and a surprising 0-2 in league play.
The fast start came in large part from senior ‘Rabbits guard Michael Mayes, who scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half—Mayes was also part of a three-man rotation (along with Ronald Nezey and Shelton Boykin) that kept Mike Wilder frazzled, limiting him to just three points in the first quarter. From the 18-point deficit, the Bruins rallied, going on a 14-4 run, and outscoring Poly 18-9 in the second to pull within three points at the half, 29-26—the comeback was keyed by an offensive explosion from Wilder, the league’s scoring leader, as he knocked down ten points. A near-capacity crowd at Poly’s Ron Palmer Pavilion was a little seasick from the back-and-forth, but there was an electric atmosphere as the fans waited for the third quarter to begin.
Poly opened with a 6-0 run before Wilson got going—every time it seemed like the ‘Rabbits would finally pull away, somebody else stepped up for the Bruins. There was Wilder, who scored five, but Josh Bell got it done defensively, with two steals in three plays after Poly had gone up by six. Both were converted into buckets, and they stayed within one. But in the fourth, Poly opened with another big run (12-0) and Wilson didn’t have the legs to catch up, as they didn’t score until there were just over two minutes left in the game. Poly’s big man inside, Julian Camper, hit his free throws down the stretch (he scored 20 overall), and Poly secured the win. Wilder finished with 22 to lead all scorers, but Wilson’s Joel Bitonio, usually their second option, was held to just eight points as he was harangued by Poly’s inside players all evening.
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