Shots keep falling for Saints' new coach

January 04, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI |

Hancock boys basketball coach Jeff Spielman is going for a “change of culture,” but he would easily settle for a change of luck.

“Everyone we play, they shoot fantastic,” Spielman said. “I know we don’t always play the best defense, but just because you are open doesn’t mean it should always go in.”

Nothing changed for the Panthers on Tuesday. Saint James drilled 10 3-pointers, including three in a row at the end of the first quarter, in a 78-46 victory over Hancock.

The only thing that changed for the Saints, meanwhile, was their coach. Aaron Wilmore enjoyed his first game as Saint James’ head coach as the Saints remained true to form.

“We are a jump-shot team, especially our core group of players,” said Wilmore, who replaced Mike Brooks, who left the school to become assistant athletic director at Cazenovia (N.Y.) College. “They can all shoot the 3, and we have the big guy inside (Leonard Livingston) to get the rebounds.”

Saint James (7-1) jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, but fell behind 12-7 by the 3:40 mark as Hancock’s Spencer Heller did all the scoring for the Panthers.

Avery Wilmore, Ben Louderback and Alex Wheeler hit consecutive 3s in a 2:15 stretch to give the Saints the lead. Saint James completed a 16-0 run that bridged the quarters to take a 23-12 lead and held Hancock without a basket for 6:50 to take control of the game.

Heller scored 14 of Hancock’s first 16 points en route to finishing with 21.

“We are trying to change the culture here,” Spielman said. “The big thing we are trying to do is play harder longer and stop teams from having stretches of six, eight, 10 straight points at a time and to hit our free throws. We didn’t do that today.”

Saint James beat Hancock (0-7) to the punch coming out of every break to establish a foothold. The Panthers made a quick run to get within 30-26 with 52 seconds to go in the half, but Saint James scored the final seven points of the half, including a 3 by Wheeler, for a 37-26 lead at the break.

Hancock worked to take Avery Wilmore out of the game in the second half, but Wheeler and Livingston filled the void to keep the Saints handily ahead.

Wheeler finished with 23 points and Livingston added 15, including two emphatic dunks, while Avery Wilmore finished with 11.

“We know that’s going to happen to Avery,” Aaron Wilmore said. “But he passes the ball well. He got eight or nine assists. I’d rather that they play that way because when they cut him off, the other guys come and pick it up.”

JV: Saint James, 76-54 (SJ: Eric Liu 18; H: Chad Sipe 16).

Saint James 78, Hancock 46

Ludwick 1 0-0 2, Wilmore 4 0-1 11, Louderback 2 1-2 6, Wheeler 9 2-2 23, McCormack 1 0-0 3, Livingston 6 3-4 15, Cook 0 1-2 1, Orfan 4 0-0 10, Beckel 0 2-2 2, Mi. Townes 0 1-2 1, Walker 2 0-0 4. Totals 29 10-15 78.
Wiles 0 1-2 1, Foreman 2 2-2 8, Souders 0 1-2 1, Ray 1 0-0 2, McCoy 5 1-2 12, Heller 9 1-7 21, Martin 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 6-17 46.
Saint James    17    20    15    23    —    78
Hancock    12    14    12    8    —    46
3-point goals — Saint James 10 (Wilmore 3, Wheeler 3, Orfan 2, McCormack, Louderback), Hancock 6 (Foreman 2, McCoy 2, Heller 2).

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