McGRAW — The Homer boys basketball team used a big second half performance from junior center Jarrett Wilbur to pull away late on the road.
Wilbur scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half as the Trojans beat McGraw 57-41 Thursday in non-league action.
Homer (4-4 overall) opened the scoring with a layup by Derek Fickett just 45 seconds into the game. Following another bucket by Fickett, McGraw (6- 4) would finally get on the board when Caleb Smith put back his own miss for two of his eight first quarter points.
The Eagles would take their first lead of the game two minutes later when Smith put in a fast break layup to put McGraw up, 7-6. The Trojans answered back one minute later as Jake Atkins hit his first three-pointer of the game which allowed the visitors a 9-7 lead.
Smith would end the quarter on a 4-0 run of his own giving McGraw an 11-9 advantage going into the second quarter.
“Caleb does a little bit of everything for us,” McGraw coach Derek Allen said. “He brought it again tonight and did a nice job scoring and distributing for us.”
Homer came out of the break on fire, starting the second quarter on a 15-3 run to take a 24-14 lead.
McGraw, aided by Homer guard Mikyle Franklin picking up his third foul with just over three minutes left in the quarter, went on a 10-0 run of their own to tie the game at 24-24 just before half.
Jake Calabro got the scoring started in a back and forth third quarter with a put back putting the Trojans back in front. Smith would have a put back layup of his own to tie the game back up and force an early Homer timeout.
Following the timeout, Dominic Cook would make his second three-pointer of the game putting McGraw in front 29-26. On the ensuing possession, Jarrett Wilbur would respond with a make from long distance for Homer to tie things up at 29.
The three-pointer was only the start of Wilbur’s second half dominance.
“We made it our priority in the second half to get the ball down low,” Homer coach Rex Ryan said. “We didn’t do a good job of that in the first half, but we got [Wilbur] the ball in the right spot in the second half.”
McGraw and Homer would continue to trade baskets until Devon Ackley picked up his fourth foul of the game with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter forcing him to leave the game with McGraw leading 34-33.
“Devon is our floor general and he allows us to play better as a team,” Allen said. “With him being in foul trouble, it forced some guys into spots they don’t always play.”
Homer would end the quarter on a 6-0 run entering the final quarter up 39-34.
Smith wouldn’t let the Eagles go down quietly, scoring twice early to help cut the deficit to just three points.
Down 43-40, McGraw would look for a spark from Ackley, but the Eagles hopes of a comeback started to sputter as the guard fouled out with 4:35 remaining in the game.
Wilbur would go on to score eight points in the quarter as the Trojans pulled away while holding McGraw to just one point in the final four minutes.
In addition to Wilbur’s scoring effort, Atkins chipped in with 12 points and Fickett netted 10 points for the Trojans who will travel to Altmar-Parish-Williamstown tonight.
Smith was the only McGraw player to break double digits by scoring 20 points. Dominic Cook added seven points for the Eagles.
McGraw will look to get back on track Tuesday when they host Otselic Valley.
Homer JVs jumped out to a 16-2 lead in the first quarter on the way to a 70-35 victory over McGraw.
McGraw played better after the first quarter, but still trailed 30-19 at half-time. Homer used a 40-16 advantage in the second half to pull away for good.
Wyatt Wilbur paced the Junior Trojans with 16 points. Ian Gilbert added 13 points and Evan Butts netted 12 points in the winning effort.
Quentin Burdick provided most of the McGraw offense as he scored 27 points for the Eagles’ JV squad.