LOWER GWYNEDD >> A young Wissahickon boys basketball team is still figuring things out in these early games. And Tuesday night, the Trojans learned they have some work to do to reach coach Kyle Wilson’s standards on the defensive end.
Wissahickon had no solution to slowing do visiting Liberty, as the Hurricanes raced out to an 18-point halftime lead and cruised to 65-40 victory.
“We gave up interior, we gave up transition and we gave up easy catch perimeter. And you notice for them, they didn’t give up anything easy to us,” Wilson said. “We had to work for anything. And to me, the team that’s playing the best defense out there is going to win. And that proved true tonight.”
Alex Serrano collected 12 of his game-high 24 points in the second quarter, which finished with an 11-4 Liberty run that put the Hurricanes up 36-18 going into the second half.
“It’s disappointing. We’ve had some ups and downs in years past, but it’s just frustrating,” Wilson said. “It’s a young group, but it’s no excuse. We got to play better defense and we just didn’t defend well tonight.”
A Zach Gelman bucket to open the scoring in the third cut the margin to 16, but that closest Wissahickon (1-2) got the rest of the contest.
“We’re going to have games where we only score in the 40s like that, but we can’t give up 65,” Wilson said. “They’re a good team, but that’s not a team that should of beat us by that length and that got everything they wanted tonight.”
Najee Plunkett and Cameron Hoffman both finished with 10 points for Liberty (1-1).
Noah Curran’s 12 points paced Wissahickon, which begins Suburban One League American Conference play Thursday on the road against Springfield-Montco.
“I expected better out of us. But we’ve been inconsistent and that’s something we as coaches got to sit down and look at and try to get our team more consistent team,” Wilson said. “Cause I think there’s enough talent there that we can win a lot of good games, but that wasn’t one of them.”
The Trojans did hold an early lead Tuesday at 3-0 after an Alex Tappen three-pointer, but Liberty ran off seven straight points and never relinquished the advantage.
“They really defended well, made us work for a lot of stuff, did give us anything easy and I felt we gave up too many possessions where they had good angle, good shoot, good clean look,” Wilson said. “And that’s something we’re not accustomed to doing. So, we got a lot of work to do on sharpening up our defense.”
Curran converted a three-point play at 3:49 to get Wissahickon within 7-6 only for Liberty to end the quarter with a 10-3 run – a Caleb Martinez bucket putting Liberty up 17-9.
Two Plunkett free throws put the Hurricanes ahead by 10 before Max Rapoport scored on a drive to make it 19-11. Serrano, however, knocked down back-to-back three pointers from the corner to push the lead to 15.
A Zach Reiner triple from the top of the arc made it 25-14, but two Hoffman free throws and a Serrano floater in the late had the Hurricanes back up 15 at 29-14. Serrano capped off the half with pair of buckets for a 36-18 halftime lead.
Consecutive baskets by Martinez gave Liberty a 50-25 lead in the third, with the Hurricanes going into the fourth up 52-30.