MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets had hoped to find their offense by the time the Newark Wildcats came to town.
Instead, the team that’s averaged 40 points per game since Dec. 18, mustered just nine points in the first half of Saturday’s game. Although the defense kept the Jackets in the game, the 43-31 loss was more about how the Wildcats kept themselves one step ahead of the competition.
“When Mount Vernon plays Newark, you know it’s going to be a hard-fought game,” said Mount Vernon head coach Kurt Kaufman. “They took it to us in the first quarter, and we played from behind. Give credit to them for a good start.”
With top scoring senior Jalen Dartis out with an injury and starting forwards Teddy Metzen and Grant Russell weakened by flulike symptoms, Newark looked to be the perfect remedy for Mount Vernon’s spate of losses.
Instead, the Jackets (5-8) struggled to put up points. The team fell behind, 8-0, early in the first and spent the rest of the game trying to catch up. Mount Vernon shot just 2-for-14 in the first half.
“We got so rushed in that first half,” said Kaufman. “Their pressure really sped us up. So we’re shooting quick. And quick shots aren’t good shots.”
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