By STU SWARTZ Special To The Goshen News
---- — ELKHART — Tradition continued for Concord and history was denied Goshen.
The Minutemen trimmed the Redskins, 50-45, Saturday night in a Class 4A high school boys basketball sectional championship game at North Side Gym.
It’s Concord’s 13th sectional title overall, fourth in the last 11 years. Goshen hasn’t won a sectional since 1992 on its home floor and hasn’t cut the nets at North Side since 1969.
As so many of these tight championship games do, this one came down to a pivotal burst of momentum.
That occurred late in the third quarter after Goshen had taken its last lead of the night, 29-28, on a drive from the right side by senior Deric Haynes with 2:53 to go in the quarter.
Junior Brett Austin drove the left side to score for Concord, putting the Minutemen ahead to stay. Senior point guard Ramon Johnson grabbed a rebound and drove the court to score and moments later did it again.
Suddenly, CHS had a 34-29 lead with 1:36 to go in the period and there was no catching up for the Redskins who never again would get within four points.
Concord coach Steve Austin said, “All these are special, but this one is even more so because we fought through so much adversity and it was unexpected.
“It’s hard to fathom how much Goshen improved late in the season. This game was like a chess match with us struggling early, then putting the pieces together and hitting our free throws down the stretch.”
The Minutemen, 15-8, advance to a four-team regional next Saturday at Michigan City and will meet either 21-1 Penn or 14-8 South Bend Riley in the second game at 1 p.m. Those teams meet Monday night.
Goshen wraps up the campaign at 13-10, winning nine of its last 11 and facing the prospect of several key performers returning next season.
“I’m proud as I can be of this team for the remarkable run it put together after we were 4-8,” said Redskin coach Brian Bechtel. “It speaks volumes for the character of these kids and has us eagerly looking forward to the future.
“Our only faltering in this game came in those last three minutes of the third quarter. We didn’t execute our offense, got stuck on 29 points and Concord seized that momentum that wins sectionals.”
Concord increased its lead to eight early in the fourth stanza and it peaked at 43-34 with 4:57 to play.
Sophomore Brady Bechtel and junior Jack Gingerich hit 3-pointers to get Goshen within 46-43 at the 0:39 mark, but the Minutemen iced it with four free throws in the last 34 seconds.
Junior Filip Serwatka led Concord with 14 points while both Johnson and Austin scored 12. Serwatka was the team’s top rebounder with seven.
Haynes and Gingerich both tallied 14 points for the Skins and Bechtel 12. Junior Austin Woolett led Goshen in rebounds with seven.
With both teams playing cautiously, Concord had just five turnovers and Goshen four. The Minutemen had none in the second half and the Redskins one.
“Goshen did a great job shutting down the middle so that made it hard to drive,” said Johnson. “I like to run the court and find the open guys. It all turned out good because our goal all along was to win this sectional.”
Bechtel said, “In all three sectional games our turnovers were low and are points per possession excellent. Johnson and Serwatka are good offensive players and we struggled to get some stops at key times. Then they hit their free throws.”
Concord 50, Goshen 45
CONCORD — Brett Austin 5-9 0-2 12, Dan McMahon 1-3 5-6 7, Filip Serwatka 5-9 3-3 14, Ramon Johnson 3-7 6-8 12, Adam Glanders 2-3 0-0 5, Jake Kronk 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-31 14-19 50.
GOSHEN — Deric Haynes 5-10 3-4 14, D.J. Ambrose 0-1 0-0 0, Austin Woolett 1-3 2-3 4, Brady Bechtel 3-11 5-6 12, Jack Gingerich 5-9 0-0 14, Alex Hartsough 0-1 1-2 1, Cam Kline 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-35 11-15 45.
Concord 12 7 15 16 — 50
Goshen 15 4 11 15 — 45
3-point shooting: Concord 4-8 (Austin 2-4, Serwatka 1-1, Glanders 1-2, McMahon 0-1), Goshen 6-18 (Gingerich 4-8, Haynes 1-4, Bechtel 1-6).
Rebounds: Concord 21 (Serwatka 7, Johnson 5), Goshen 20 (Woolett 7, Haynes 6).
Fouls: Goshen 15, Concord 12.
Turnovers: Goshen 4, Concord 5.
Officials: Jay Smith, Kirk Robinson, Bob Filipek.