Boys basketball: No. 9 Wellington routs Palm Beach Gardens 67-33
Friday, December 21, 2012
by Post Staff
Wellington coach Matt Colin has a few games he wishes he could have back, but Friday night's 67-33 rout of District 9-8A rival Palm Beach Gardens won't be one of them.
Ninth-ranked Wellington (9-2) put together a stifling defensive effort, dominating Gardens in every facet of the game. Dondre Duffus scored 23 points and Stephon Gordon added 14 for the Wolverines, who notched their first district win.
"We played together," Colin said. "That was the biggest factor. They're very competitive as a group."
Gardens (0-7) has struggled this season, especially on offense. Three of the Gators' losses have been by fewer than 10 points, and two more were within striking distance.
Friday's game was nothing like those. Gardens scored single-digit points in three of four quarters, and Tanner Litchfield's third-quarter hot streak was the only sign of life Gardens had for most of the night.
Litchfield finished with 10 points, but he didn't get help from anyone else.
"They're much better than us," Gardens coach Jim Arbogast said. "More talented, better coached. Our kids are playing with no heart. We have a much better team than how we're playing. You could see this coming all week with the way we were practicing."
Wellington started slowly, holding a single-digit lead into the middle of the second quarter, but Duffus and Gordon got hot and pushed the game out of reach.
Colin still wants his team to find consistency. The Wolverines have won some big games -- Lake Worth being the biggest -- but lost by 17 points to district nemesis Jupiter and let a win slip away against Royal Palm Beach.
Friday night's game was a perfect chance for Colin to teach.
"Jupiter is the top team in our district," he said. "We have to build up to compete with them. Playing well every game and not taking anyone lightly is a big part of that."