Wiggins Leads East Hartford with 39 Points

Is it possible for a high school player to put up 39 points, just shy of 60% of his teams total offense, and not look selfish doing so? Well, that is exactly what Doug Wiggins did on Friday night in leading his East Hartford High Hornets to a 71-54 victory over Wethersfield High School.

When asked after the game about how he balanced getting his teammates involved while shouldering the majority of his team's scoring, Wiggins said, "I enjoy making the good pass more than scoring." 

 

His game-high 11 assists bears witness to that.

 

One of the most exciting moments in the game came in the closing seconds of the first half -- with the clock winding down and the ball in Wiggin's hands, the East Hartford sharpshooter knocked down a 30-foot jumpshot well beyond the top of the key as the final seconds ran off the clock.  It was one of four three-pointers he made in the first half, on four of eight shooting from beyond the arc. Wiggins shot seven of 13 from the field and scored 18 of his team's 34 first-half points.

 

Wiggins continued his torrid shooting in the second half finishing with 39 points on 13 for 22 shooting. He also hit eight of nine free throws and five of ten three-point shots.  Doug also had a productive evening at the defensive end of the floor with seven rebounds, four thefts and a blocked shot.

 

After the game, Wiggins said of his performance, "I did a lot of scoring. I was pretty hot this game, was hitting the open man -- this was one of my best games."

 

East Hartford coach Anthony Menard said that his star pupil has matured over the past several months, "Leadership-wise, he's grown up tremendously.  He understands that it's his senior year and what's at stake.  The most important thing to him is winning basketball games". 

 

"He's grown into a winner. His teammates respond to him -- there is no doubt he's the leader of our team.  And the fact that he's so unselfish -- he gets other players involved. He scored 39 points tonight and clearly could have had over 50 if he wanted to. He gets everybody involved.  He doesn't really care how many points he scores. Scoring comes easy to him."

 

As for where he needs to improve, Wiggins said that he has concentrated on his decision making, his defense and his ability to lead his teammates. Wiggins and his teammates played solid defense on Friday night, playing defense with their feet and avoid the reach in. East Hartford, already undersized, became even more so when two front court players were dismissed from the squad earlier in the week.

 

Menard noted how important it is for the team to play solid defense with the depleted from court and for the most part his team responded by playing effective full and half-court pressure defense against Wethersfield.

 

Although Menard understands how special a player Wiggins is, he knows that he has work to do to prepare for the next level, "Clearly, he's got to get stronger. The second thing he has to adjust to is the level of play. In UConn, we're talking about one of the top five programs in America".

 

"But, skill-wise and in terms of athletic ability, as long as he gets experience playing against those guys, he's going to be very good for them.  He's got to be able to absorb contact better in the lane. But he's got something that a lot of guards can't do -- he's got a deadly pull-up".

 

"You watch some of the UConn greats like Taliek Brown and Kevin Ollie, they were great at managing the floor but they weren't necessarily terrific shooters.  Doug is a good shooter who can shoot off the dribble and shoot the stand-still shot, but he needs to get better at managing the game."

 

Wiggins is hearing a similar message from the UConn coaching staff -- when asked what they've encouraged him to work on, he said, "My strength. I got to get bigger!"

 


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