Forget chicken or tuna salad, Wise treated the Wildcats to Mo Sallah sandwiches.
Wise was the backline of Williamsport’s defense against Broadfording Christian Academy’s 6-foot-7 center, taking Sallah out of his comfort zone while adding a game-high 19 points to lead Williamsport to a 59-39 victory.
“Coach just wanted me to play behind him and then we were doubling down on him,” Wise said. “I think we got him frustrated.”
Wise’s roadblock allowed other Williamsport defenders the chance to box Sallah from the front — sandwiching him — to keep him from dominating around the basket.
“Tyler did a very good job against him,” said Williamsport coach Scott Mowbray. “We didn’t allow their guards to throw any easy entry passes and we collapsed on Sallah.”
Wise and the Wildcats held Sallah to seven points and eight rebounds — nine points and six boards below his average — even though he had seven blocked shots.
“Wise played, ah, wisely,” Broadfording coach Burnie Clutz said in an uneasy fashion. “We didn’t respond to them. If Mo is sandwiched, we are supposed to move the ball to the weak side and flash to get good shots. Some nights they execute and some nights they can’t.”
Williamsport (8-10) led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter before taking a 25-16 advantage at the half as Wise scored 12 of the Wildcats’ 13 points in the second quarter. He had 14 at the half.
He keyed a critical run to start the fourth quarter with a basket, an assist and a steal to get the Wildcats out of danger after Broadfording (15-14) battled back.
“It was just the flow of the game,” Wise said. “I just took it to the hoop. We were playing and the ball was just showing up. That happens when you play as a team.”
The Lions used a 12-6 run to start the third quarter, led by four points by Moni Anderson, to move back within 31-28 with 2:21 to go in the period.
“We started moving the ball better,” Clutz said. “We cut the lead to three by running the offense, but we couldn’t find a defense to stop them.”
After a few defensive lapses allowed Broadfording back into the game, the Wildcats ran off a 10-0 run to close the third quarter and begin the fourth — including Wise’s trio of plays — to regain a healthy 41-28 lead with 6:30 remaining.
“After we got to within three, Wise seemed to do everything they needed with his play and his head,” Clutz said. “He made some great decisions.”
Williamsport maintained the lead as its next 11 points came from the free-throw line as Broadfording lost three players to fouls. The Wildcats closed the game with an 11-0 run to reach the final cushion of 20 points.
Alex Aleshire finished with 17 points for the Wildcats, while Ryan Butts added 12. Anderson topped the Lions with 11 points.
“We played good defense tonight, except for in the third quarter,” Mowbray said. “We are playing better. We have a game (Tuesday against Catoctin) and we are looking forward to playing better.”
Williamsport 59, Broadfording 39
Crabtree 4, Jackson 2, Butts 12, Christy 5, Aleshire 17, Wise 19. Totals 19 19-28 59.
BROADFORDING CHRISTIAN (15-14)
Anders 11, Silva 9, B. Cradduck 5, Durst 7, Sallah 7. Totals 14 9-13 39.
Williamsport 12 13 9 25 — 59
Broadfording 8 8 12 11 — 39
3-point goals — Williamsport 2 (Crabtree, Aleshire), Broadfording Christian 2 (Anderson, Durst). Fouled out — Broadfording Christian 3 (T. Campagna, Sallah, Anderson). Techical foul — Broadfording Christian (Anderson).