Boys Basketball: CM Wildcats end year with 90-48 loss to Millionaires
By AARON JAMES
WILLIAMSPORT- The 2019-2020 Central Mountain Wildcat season came to an end Tuesday night at the hands of the Williamsport Millionaires in a 90-48 loss. The Wildcat season concludes with a record of 6-16, a win better than last season.
The Wildcats opened the game energetic and seemed prepared to run with the always-athletic Allen Taylor led Williamsport Millionaires. After a two minute scoreless drought to open the game, Williamsport and Central Mountain exchanged baskets in what could have been evolving into a surprisingly-thrilling game.
After pulling within five at 14-9 late in the first quarter, Williamsport flipped the switch and erupted on an 11-0 run in thrilling fashion. Central Mountain did all they could to keep up with the Millionaires but the full court press, speed and agility of Williamsport was merely too much to handle. The young Millionaires put on a passing clinic after every forced shot or turnover, which would evolve into a 41- 24 halftime lead.
“When you don’t handle the pressure very well it results in a turnover, you’re not going to be able to contest a lot of those layups they get out of them. We spoke presume about the types of pressure we would see, they’re an aggressive team and they’ll stay around after the rebound. We just really didn’t handle ourselves well in the pressure category,” head coach Tyler Bardo said following the season-ending loss. “Once we got to a point where we hit shots that got us back into it, it’s tough as a player to not take the shots they want us to take. They had a factor in it, but it was our lack of ability to handle the basketball that got us to a point where we felt we needed to take those shots,” he continued.
The second half was all Williamsport as they continued to just exhaust the Wildcats by continuously pushing up and down the floor. The injury-plagued Wildcats couldn’t keep up with wave after wave of fresh legs thrown at them by Williamsport head coach Allen Taylor as he plugged and plugged away into his bench. Each wave of players entering the game seemed to mirror the prior lineup as the press remained, the energy remained, the ball movement continued and plays were finished.
“A lot of times earlier in the season we would get steals and guys weren’t running on the fastbreak, or we’d have guys running but we’d go one against two or one against three so then guys would stop running. Now, we’re getting to that point where we’re starting to share the ball and guys are running consistently and they know they’re going to get the ball. They’re willing to give that effort to get up and down the floor so I was really happy to see the guys sharing the basketball. We talked about not playing for the number, but playing for the name on the jersey and it seems like we’re doing it. We just need to be more consistent in what we’re doing,” Williamsport head coach Allen Taylor said.
This marks the end for four Seniors in Ujjval Adroja, Conner Soo, Zane Probst, and Evan Baker. Regardless of the scores, the effort, and leadership represented by the four seniors was always prevalent, including tonight in a blowout loss with Adroja continuously yelling out to teammates and picking teammates up during rough stretches of clock.
“They’re my first group that I’ve seen all the way through from sophomore year to graduation. They have seen some good times and have endured some bad ones, but when you look at the way we came out and competed as we got our feet underneath us with game experience we were still able to play some of our best basketball of the season even with those injuries. I think that’s a large part due to those four guys” Bardo said about his class-act group of Seniors. “If they quit at anytime it’s easy for the young guys to quit, but that didn’t happen. We wouldn’t have had some of the opportunities we had if it wasnt for those guys. They have given a lot to this program, we stress and value character in this program a lot, and paying it forward and those four guys have really taken to that and tried to live up to that with some of the things they do.”
Williamsport 90, Central Mountain 48
C. Mountain 9 15 13 11 -48
Williamsport 19 22 26 23-90
Central Mountain: Ujjval Adroja 0, 0-2, 0; Nicholas Long 3, 2-2, 8; Cayde McCloskey 2, 0-0, 4; Jack Hanna 0, 0-0, 0; Trevor Adair 2, 1-1, 3; Conner Soo 4, 0-0, 8; Zane Probst 7, 3-3, 19; Evan Baker 2, 1-4, 6.
Williamsport: Ahmir Ellzy 0, 0-0, 0; Nassir Jones 5, 0-0, 10; Conner Nyman 5, 2-3, 14; James Evans-McQuay 6, 0-2, 6; Al-Kabeer Jason 3, 0-2, 6; Kenon Brown 4, 0-0, 9; Ry’meer Brown 2, 0-0, 4; Tyler Fausnaught 3, 0-0, 7; Marshall Brown 2, 0-1, 4; Xavier Taylor 1, 2-2, 4; Nayim Connelly-Ali 2, 0-0, 4; Cole Johnson 8, 0-0, 16.
Central Mountain 3 (Probst 2, Baker).
Williamsport 4 (Nyman 2, Brown, Fausnaught).