EMMA — In the first four minutes of the third quarter, the NorthWood Panthers managed to turn a one-point halftime lead into an 11-point cushion.
NorthWood went from a 23-22 lead at intermission to a 37-26 bulge midway through the third on the way to a 64-52 non-conference high school boys basketball win over the Westview Warriors in a rare Thursday night game.
“You have to give credit to Westview for the way they defended us the first 12 minutes,” NorthWood coach Aaron Wolfe said. “They took us out of our rhythm and we missed some shots around the basket that we made in the third.
“I felt the way we played in the first half we were fortunate to be ahead. We knew if we continued to make plays we would make a game of it. In the third, we made the shots and Westview missed some shots.”
The Panthers outscored the Warriors 24-13 in the game-turning quarter.
“The game was won over the final two minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second,” Westview coach Rob Yoder said. “NorthWood is a really good team, but we made them look better ... I think we defended them good enough to be in the game and we took good enough care of the ball to be in it. It was our shot selection. We rushed shots. We had five shots blocked. You are not open when you have that many shots blocked.
“They made the plays when we didn’t.”
NorthWood (3-0) hosts Fairfield and Westview (2-2) visits Central Noble, both on Saturday.
The Panthers got a spark off the bench with the play of 5-7 senior Kyle McCoy. He swished two huge 3-pointers in the second period as NorthWood recovered from a 12-9 deficit at the end of the opening period. The first pulled his team to within two points (14-12) at 7:01 and the second cut a six-point Westview lead (23-17) in half with 1:32 remaining in the stanza.