WILLIAMSTOWN — The midway point of the season saw the Williamstown Yellowjackets in midseason form. An onslaught of 3-pointers and swarming defense saw the Class AA No. 1 ‘Jackets handle Wahama, 101-54 on Tuesday night in Williamstown. The victory pushes W’town to 11-0, as Yellowjacket shooters shot 40 percent from deep. The final tally saw 16 made triples with seven different players striking from deep range.
Leading scorer Alex Irvin accounted for four of those, and he finished with 24 points on the contest.
“We played really well as a team. We moved the ball really well, and we drove the ball really well,” Irvin said. “That’s what led to our success shooting. Once you get inside, those 3s start to open up. I think we shot about 40 percent, and that’s about our average. When we shoot the ball well, it opens up other aspects of the game, as well. A lot of it has to do with how we carry ourselves. We play as a team, and there are no selfish guys on this team. You have to go out and be ready to guard 11 different guys. A different guy is going to be hitting in every game, so you can’t really prep for that. We’re super excited. We’re ready to win a state championship. Last year, we got eliminated early in regionals, and we’re back for revenge. We’re ready to play.”
Irvin’s point of needing to guard several different players was apropo on this night. A dozen Yellowjackets scored, as the visiting White Falcons couldn’t stop the deficit from climbing.
Sawyer VanMatre led Wahama with 21 points, while Eli Rickard joined him in double-figures with 14.
VanMatre accounted for the majority of the Falcons’ points in the first, but the balanced Williamstown attack was on full display in the early going. A pair of makes from beyond the arc and one more splashed in by Irvin served as a prelude for things to come, as head coach Scott Sauro’s crew filled up the boxscore throughout.
After Louis Goodnow scored off a steal with a couple seconds remaining in the first, the score was 24-11 following those first eight minutes.
Williamstown kept pushing.
Three of the next four makes for the home side came from downtown. Parker Schramm laid in the first basket for his side. Then, the Yellowjackets caught fire. Makes from Bryant, Irvin, and Dylan Ashley created further distance with Ashley’s shot making it a 35-17 affair midway through the second. That theme persisted, as Wahama got the bulk of its scoring from Rickard in the second. He scored 10 in the frame, but Williamstown wouldn’t slow down.
The third quarter saw the ‘Jackets drop 32 points, as scores from Cruz Isaly, Payton Bunch, Schramm, Ashley, Irvin, Goodnow and Carson Hill further ballooned the lead to 35 after the third.
In total, Ashley scored 12, and the duo of Schramm and Goodnow recorded 10 apiece. It was a balanced night, as head coach Scott Sauro looks ahead. The Yellowjackets welcome LKC foe Tyler Consolidated at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
“We’ve been working a lot on our pressures in the fullcourt, and for the most part, I thought we did a pretty good job with it,” Sauro said of the defense. “I thought a couple times, we got out of position and whatnot, but we were trying to get out in our pressures to really affect the ballhandler. We weren’t perfect. Wahama did a good job a couple times of beating us down the floor and scoring, but throughout 32 minutes, the constant of it wore on them a little bit.”
Speaking on the personnel, Sauro credits the entire team for regularly incorporating so many players seamlessly.
“We play a lot of guys, and we really try to preach the team aspect of this thing,” he said. “We’re fortunate that we have a bunch of kids who can play and be effective in a varsity basketball game. We’re asking them to go out there and play as hard as they can for as long as they’re in there. When we sub them out, the new guys get in there and do the exact same thing. We’re trying to create that constant pressure, and so far, our attitude and demeanor have been great.”
Contact Josh Hughes at [email protected]