Mingo Central halts Wayne comeback in 58-49 win
WAYNE — Mingo Central nearly surrendered an 18-point lead in the second half before making clutch free throws in the final seconds to deny the Wayne Pioneers a comeback victory at home Friday night in boys high school basketball.
The Miners (2-14) ended a four-game losing skid with the 58-49 victory.
Wayne (4-13) struggled on offense with first-half scoring droughts of eight and three minutes while Mingo Central (2-14) built its lead, ultimately doubling up the home team 30-15 at the break.
“The guys have to have the confidence that they can score. It’s one of the main things we focus on in practice,” Wayne head coach Sam Cochenour said after the loss. “There’s been several opportunities for our guys but they pass them up instead of shooting, then we turn it over and don’t get a shot at all.”
Wayne came out with that kind of confidence in the second half, downing a pair of long balls in the first minute of the third quarter, using a nine-point run to get within single digits. The Miners answered with 11 consecutive points as Wayne then went scoreless for nearly five minutes.
The Pioneers used the hot hand of sophomore Bryan Sansom to chip away at the Miners’ lead, pulling within five points in the final minute of the game, but the effort was too little too late as Mingo Central closed out the game by hitting 6 of 7 from the free throw line in the final 1:15 to seal the victory. After a scoreless first half, Sansom finished with a game-high 18 points on six made 3-point shots. Three Miners — Nate and Jacob May and Josh Wellman — finished with double-figure scoring.
Wayne returns to action against Nitro at 7 p.m. Thursday. Mingo Central will host top-ranked Chapmanville at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
WAYNE 4 11 12 22 — 49: Sansom 18, Merritt 9, Bryant 7, Sanchez 6, Wallace 5, Pomeroy 2, Crabtree 2.
MINGO CENTRAL 15 15 16 12 — 58: Nate May 15, Jacob May 10, Wellman 10, Jackson 9, Blankenship 9, Deboard 5.