East Mills Clinches Conference Championship With Win Over Essex
East Mills clinched an outright regular season Corner Conference Boys Basketball Championship Friday night with a 71-20 victory over Essex.
The Wolverines, who improved to 18-1 overall and 10-0 in league play, raced out to a 45-12 halftime advantage and never looked back.
Layne Mastin scored a game-high 19 points for East Mills, while Kyler Williams and Jackson Embree pitched in 16 and 11 points for the Wolverines.
Sheldon Vandenberg pulled down 10 rebounds for the Wolverines, to go along with four steals. Embree finished the night with nine rebounds, a blocked shot and two steals.
Caleb Urban and Zach Thornburg both had four assists.
Friday night’s win was one of three lopsided wins for East Mills last week. The Wolverines also defeated Griswold, 72-22, and Heartland Christian, 72-24, earlier in the week.
Noting that East Mills doesn’t have enough players to field a true junior varsity team, Wolvernines’ coach Kevin Schafer said the three games provided an opportunity for some younger players on the bench to get some valuable playing time.
“Playing these games is actually good for us,” Schafer said. “We gain more from playing the games than practicing because we’re limited to what we can do in practice.
“We haven’t really had a chance to play a JV schedule so we were able to get those guys some playing time in these games.”
Lincoln Palmer tallied 18 points to lead all scorers against Griswold. Mastin and Vandenberg scored 12 and 11 points respectively.
Mastin had a team-leading 10 rebounds and Zach Thornburg dished out five assists.
Embree was the Wolverines’ leading scorer against Heartland Christian with 15 points. Palmer and Vandenberg both finished with 11.
Vandenberg also collected eight rebounds and Thornburg had eight assists.
The Wolverines closed out conference play Tuesday night against Sidney and will now look toward the postseason. Schafer noted that the three games last week, with a different player being the leading scorer each night, is reflective of the unselfish nature of his squad.
“That’s kind of the way it has gone for us with a different player stepping up every night,” he said. “They’ve really been an enjoyable team to coach.”