From LBPOSTSports.com: It was a tough night to be a fan of Wilson basketball. Earlier in the evening, the girls’ team had come up just short of pulling up an upset against Millikan, and in the second game of the doubleheader, the Bruins’ themselves were upset at home by a defiant Rams squad, who won’t be overlooked past opening night with the 60-54 win.
At first the game started the way most spectators likely expected it to, as the Mike Wilder show lived up to its billing. The league’s leading scorer (who was awarded a CIF Champions of Character award before the game) led the way early, with 12 first-quarter points, as he and his teammates ran wild for the first 16 minutes—the Bruins led by seven at the half. Given how poorly the Rams were shooting, however, it was impressive that they remained so close, a result of tenacious defense and a squad of all-around athletes that ran the floor better than the Bruins.
In the third, that athleticism converted more transition points, and also helped to clamp down on Wilson’s offense, as Kierre Beverly hassled Wilder mercilessly, holding him to just two points in the third. The Rams outscored the Bruins 19-13 in the third to pull the score to 41-40 Wilson heading into the fourth. Then, as the physical defense forced more turnovers and the Rams’ fast-break offense converted more points from those turnovers, the Rams caught up, finally taking a lead at 49-47 with three and a half minutes left in the game (almost the exact point in the game the Millikan girls’ team caught and surpassed Wilson). Wilson battled back, but never equaled the Rams again.
“I think we had a difficult time handling their physical on-ball pressure,” said Wilson coach Matt Michelson. “They took us out of our game, and we turned the ball over too much. Next time we play we’ll need to figure out a way to execute some offense.”
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