A 62-60 road win at Solon to start the week was the only win for the West Delaware boys basketball team in a week that saw the team show signs of an improved defensive intensity the Hawks have been known for in past years.
The Hawks jumped out to a 19-7 lead, Jan. 13, at Solon and led, 34-28, at halftime. West Delaware maintained a 49-39 lead after three quarters.
The Hawks led by eight with a minute left to play, but several missed free throws narrowed the winning margin. Coach Matt Uthoff said it was a good road win for his team. “We found a way to get the win. It was a good confidence builder for our guys to win on the road against a quality Solon team. I loved how we came out. I thought we really defended well. Our intensity is getting there.”
The Hawks shot the ball well, going 22-of-39 from the field. Kyle Kelley led West Delaware with 25 points, going 9-of-18 from the field. Logan Woellert added 14 for the Hawks and Eric Salow 10. Mitch Krogmann had seven, Blake DeMoss three, Gavin Tucker two and Jamison Smith one.
The Hawks returned home Jan. 14 and lost 52-39 to Mount Vernon. After the Mustangs took a 11-7 lead after one quarter, West Delaware rallied to tie the score 17-17 at halftime.
West Delaware trailed 26-25 midway through the third quarter before being outscored 9-2, giving the Mustangs a 35-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Hawks could get no closer than nine points in the fourth as Mount Vernon pulled away to get the win.
Uthoff spoke of the progress his team continues to make. “I’ve been pleased with our effort since break. It’s gotten better. Tonight, after the first three minutes of the game, I loved our intensity. Our message to the kids was to believe they could play with those guys.”
He continued, “Mount Vernon is one of the best teams defensively in the state. They came and got us tonight. It’s the next step in our growth, leaning to play with those super aggressive teams. We saw it on the defensive side tonight. Now we just need to see it on the offensive side.”
Kelley led the Hawks with 13 points, followed by Woellert with nine, Krogmann with eight, Raub Loecke with six, Salow two and DeMoss one.
West Delaware ended the week with a 59-41 loss at home to Central DeWitt, Jan. 17. The stat of the game was Central DeWitt shooting 31 free throws while West Delaware shot six.
“The stat shows how physical they were and how they attacked us,” Uthoff explained.
The Hawks trailed 13-10 after the first quarter and 29-23 at halftime.
“We played pretty well defensively,” Uthoff said. “Central DeWitt is huge and physical. We were happy with how we played in the first half.”
Kelley led West Delaware with 13 points, followed by Salow with seven, Krogmann and Loecke six, Woellert five, and Tucker and DeMoss two.