“Zach responded late in the game for us,” Wolfe said. “He rebounded the ball exceptionally well in the second half.”
NorthWood fought their way back into the game in the third by holding Dwenger to four points, all of which came from the free-throw line.
The Panthers opened the third period with a 7-0 run that got them back within nine points (32-23) with 6:33 left in the quarter. Sophomore Braxton Linville drained a 3-pointer at 7:41, senior Will Stueve added an inside basket at 6:52 and Wilkinson converted a layup at 6:33.
Linville added another trey at 2:48 and Zurcher a layin at 1:43 and the Panthers trailed 36-32 entering the fourth.
“We wanted to get it down to seven points going into the fourth quarter,” Wilkinson said. “We kind of ran out late in the game. You want to keep giving 100 percent, but by that time what you think is 100 is maybe 80 percent.”
NorthWood trailed 40-37 with 4:10 left to play following Linville’s third ‘3’ of second half only to have the Saints answer with a 9-2 run for a 49-39 lead with 1:14 left.
“Braxton hit a 3-pointer from the corner for us and then Dwenger hit a tough shot,” Wolfe said. “Then we went into a stretch on offense where we did not execute. You go into a kind of desperation mode to get back into the game and then you have to shift gears again and that is hard to do.”
Zurcher scored 16 points, Wilkinson 13, Linville nine and Stueve six for NorthWood.
“Zurcher and Wilkinson are two of the better players we have seen this year,” Kostoff said. “But the guy I was really worried about was Stueve. We tried to double down on him and layoff the guards. Linville made us pay for that a couple of times. He is a very good player.”
Besides Stueve, Wilkinson and Zurcher it was the final prep game for seniors Tanner Farmwald and Kyle McCoy.