A 9-0 run to start the evening Saturday was not enough for the Dukes to hold off the New London Wildcats as they fell short 60-57 at home in the season opener.
After giving up the early advantage, New London maintained its own lead until late in the fourth quarter when the Dukes rallied to tie the score at 55.
The ‘Cats went back up by three with under a minute left, but two missed foul shots gave Wellington one final chance to tie it up in the closing seconds. A three pointer, though, bounced in and out of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
“Credit to New London,” said Dukes coach Dan Gundert. “They came back and started taking thing away from us. We didn’t do a very good of executing offensively after that.”
Junior Max Joppeck led the scoring attack with 15 points followed by senior Trey Bealer’s 14. Bealer registered a double-double and set the Dukes’ rebounding pace with 12.
“We missed two free throws in the final minute and New London did the same thing,” said Gundert. “They were the ones able to seal the game, though. We just need to be better in execution.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Photos by Russ Gifford | Wellington Enterprise Tristan Arno drives to the baseline.