RAIDER RUNS TOPPLE TIGERS
Ink Free News / Sports on Saturday, January 11, 2020
MIDDLEBURY – In a game of runs, Northridge had just a little more than Warsaw as the clock ran out Friday night. The Raiders, which never trailed, held off the Tigers 59-55 in Northern Lakes Conference boys basketball.
A red-hot start for Ridge had the hosts lead by a dozen, 17-5, after center Alex Stauffer flipped in his reverse layup. The advantage would be short-lived, as Warsaw whittled the lead away after consecutive threes from Wyatt Amiss shortened the line to two, 22-20, only for Sam Smith to immediately drill a three on the other end.
It was that kind of night.
Ridge would hold a seven-point lead at the half, and while Warsaw kept the game at a two possession trail for much of the third quarter, Smith again popped a big three at an opportune time. His triple with 1:48 left in the third pushed the Raider lead to seven again at 43-36.
Northridge led by as many as 10 in the fourth, but again Warsaw would make a run. Back-to-back threes from Blake Marsh fueled a 9-1 Warsaw streak that saw the game all of a sudden sit at 53-51 Ridge with 2:11 to go. Three points on consecutive possessions by Northridge, however, snuffed the Tiger comeback, and Smith capped his huge night with a pair of free throws to salt away a Raider victory.
“We started the third quarter pretty well and then lost it, and then again with about two minutes to go we had it back to two,” noted Warsaw head coach Doug Ogle. “And then we fouled Stauffer when we didn’t need to. We were in good shape and we didn’t need to foul there and we turn the ball over on the next possession. That was it.”
Smith had 21 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in an all-around efficient night. Stauffer, the 6-7 post who plays much bigger, had 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists, and quietly, Carter Stoltzfus went about his business and scored a game-high 24 points and added five rebounds.
The remainder of Northridge’s roster went 0-9 from the floor.
“Anyway we can get it done,” said Northridge head coach Scott Radeker. “We took the shots we got. These guys got looks and knocked them down. We’ve had games where Cam Knepp is in double figures. Drew Gaylor, when he is healthy, he is in double figures and we were missing him. I can’t say it’s disappointing at all just because the shots we got were good.”
Warsaw matched Northridge from behind the arc, both teams hitting eight bombs. Marsh hit three to aid his 11 points and Amiss and Bishop Walters both hit a pair and each finished with eight points and a combined 12 rebounds.
Jaylen Coon had nine points and four boards and Luke Adamiec ended with 11 points and six boards.
Where Warsaw fell off the pace came on points off of turnovers, where Northridge turned 12 Warsaw turnovers into 21 points. Northridge committed just seven turnovers on the night, Warsaw converting those into just five points.
“This game tonight shows us that we need to become a more solid basketball team, offensively and defensively,” Ogle said.
Warsaw, which falls on the road for the first time this season, drops to 8-3 overall and 1-1 in the NLC. Northridge moves to 6-5 overall and 2-0 in the NLC. The win for Northridge was just the eighth in the 31-year history of the series.
The JV game saw Warsaw open the second half on an 11-2 run, led by Judah Simfukwe’s eight third-quarter points, to rally past Northridge 40-25. Simfukwe led Warsaw with 11 total points and Kyle Dawson added a season-high nine points. Warsaw trailed Northridge 14-12 at the half, but outscored Northridge 16-5 in the third quarter to take command.