John Wessel scored a game-high 26 points Thursday, leading New Oxford to a victory against Dover. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
It’s a different kind of year in New Oxford this season.
The players know it. The coaches know it. And the league knows it.
The Colonials left more evidence behind Thursday night, breezing by YAIAA Division II contender Dover, 76-48.
Shut down one player, and the Colonials have other options.
New Oxford’s Jordin Brown might not have played his best game, scoring 15 points. But big, all-everything guard Jon Wessel picked up any slack by scoring a game-high 26 points.
The 6-foot-5 junior used to play point guard as a freshman. Now in his third year in the program, it’s not uncommon for him to bring the ball up the court and then make a dominating play in the low post.
The Colonials also have a rim protector in Ben Lehman, another 6-5 option, who is a defensive stopper who made his own dominating move to the bucket late in the game. He finished with 11 points.
The game looked like it would be competitive in the second quarter. After New Oxford started the game on a 10-0 run, Dover unleashed its own run to pull within 21-20.
Dover put together one of those runs where a New Oxford foul, a New Oxford turnover and a Dover 3-pointer appeared to spin the game in the Eagles’ favor.
It didn’t look that way long.
Part of the winning equation in New Oxford is that new-found confidence and high expectations for the program.
“We knew we had more energy than them, we knew we would work harder than them,” Wessel said. “We knew we had the better team.
“Tonight we came into the game knowing what we had to do, and I think we executed really well.”
New Oxford closed the half on a 13-4 run. And it only got worse in the second half, with the Colonials using their height advantage — Dover’s tallest starter is 6-3 Ryan Hilbert — to clear everything off the glass. They finished the game with a pair of 21-point quarters.
Dover’s Brady Bowman finished with a team-high 12 points.
Dover needed to improve its shot selection in the second half, since New Oxford owned the glass. And the Eagles just didn’t have the open looks or knock down the jumpers they took.
The Eagles hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter but just one the rest of the night.