SENECA — After a 19-4 first quarter edge for the top-seeded Mount Vernon Mountaineers, it looked as if the Diamond Wildcats might have given themselves a chance to claw back into the game in the second half with a 13-10 edge for the Wildcats in the second quarter producing a 29-17 halftime score in their Class 3, District 12 quarterfinal contest.
Mount Vernon quickly said no way to that and stormed out of the gates after halftime with the first nine points.
Overall, Mount Vernon outscored Diamond 27-7 in that third quarter — good for a 56-24 lead entering the fourth quarter, thus propelling the game into running clock mode — en route to a 68-28 victory Wednesday night.
Mount Vernon outscored Diamond 46-11 in the odd-numbered quarters alone.
In that second quarter, though, Diamond’s 6-foot-3 junior Ben Moreland — who entered the contest averaging 11.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.7 blocks — tallied 11 points on his own, as he knocked down a combination of shots around the basket, from mid-range, and even a 3-point basket.
Moreland finished with 17 points and continued to show the form of a player who’s been on the rise in his first year as an upperclassman.
Eventually, 11 different Mount Vernon players reached the scoring column, including three players in double figures.
Cale Miller led the way with 17 points, Kelly Vaughn added 11, and Mason Ballay scored 10 on a combination of two 3-point shots and four free throws.
Speaking of free throws, Mount Vernon earned a 15-2 edge in free throw attempts — Diamond senior Colby Housh made both — and the Mountaineers made 11 overall.
Diamond finished its season 7-17 overall, an improvement of three victories from last season, and the Wildcats featured Housh, Colton Long, Corey Stephens, Chad Stephens, and Durham Mickey each playing their final high school games Wednesday night.