Wildcats defeat Toronto

RICHMOND – Two weeks after sustaining an ankle injury, Edison’s Storm Allese still thought he might have to watch Senior Night from the bench.

“It was a scare,” Allese said of the ailment suffered against Buckeye Local on Jan. 28. “I thought my season was over.

“My ankle was kind of shot. I didn’t think I was even going to be able to play.”

He didn’t let the setback slow him down in the Wildcats’ 73-59 win over Toronto on Friday.

Allese grabbed six rebounds and chipped in with four points as fellow senior Dylan Jones added eight points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist.

“It hasn’t hit me at all,” Jones said as his final year of high school basketball is coming to a close. “It still feels like I have years left to keep playing.”

In front of a capacity crowd at the Edison Gymnasium, the Red Knights and Wildcats fought through seven first half lead changes before Skylar Wilkin’s 3-pointer right before halftime put Edison up for good at 29-25.

“That was a big momentum changer to finish up the first half strong,” said Wildcats coach Nate Moses. “We came out in the third quarter then and played really well.”

Edison (7-10) went on a 12-2 run to start the second half. It went up 37-27 at the 5:15 mark of the third when Erik Lee stole an inbounds pass and went directly up for an uncontested lay up.

A Bryce Piatt 3-pointer put the Wildcats up 46-29 at the 2:35 mark. They outscored Toronto 25-11 in the third and led by as many as 19.

“It’s the theme for the year for us,’ said Red Knights coach John Leary. “It’s not always the third quarter but we always have a quarter. They came out of the locker room ready to play.

“Every loose ball – they got. We play 35 or 40 seconds of good defense, then they take a shot and we don’t box out and they get the rebound. If somebody doesn’t box out, you have to do it all over again.

“We just made a lot of key mistakes in the third quarter.”

Lee finished with a game-high 22 points with nine of Edison’s 35 rebounds. Wilkin also grabbed nine boards and added 13 points. Josh Woika added 10 points off the bench.

The Wildcats shot 25-51 from the field, while Toronto was limited to 23 of 63. Blaze Glenn scored 20 points to lead the Red Knights (7-11), while Blaine Rawson and Hank Clegg each added 10.

On Dec. 3, Toronto trailed Edison by 22 points entering the third quarter before a furious rally gave it a 74-72 come from behind victory at the new George J. Kunzler Memorial Gymnasium.

Leary drummed up a scheme to copy that comeback from over two months ago.

“I used the exact same lineup to start the fourth,” he said. “We did basically the same thing. Once a couple things go wrong it could swing our favor and we did cut it to 12 points.”

The Red Knights did create four steals in the fourth quarter, but Edison hit 13 free throws down the stretch.

“We just put ourselves in a bad situation thinking we could do that again,” Leary said. “They weren’t going to let that happen on their home court.”

Allese, who is entering the National Guard, and Jones, who plans on attending Kent State, still have another chance to savor their prep careers as the Wildcats host Beaver Local in OVAC pool play on Tuesday.

Toronto plays at Weir on Tuesday.