By DAVID VANTRESS
---- — NORTH JUDSON — After requiring double overtime to survive and advance against Class 2A No. 5 Hammond Bishop Noll in the North Judson Regional semifinals, Westview wanted a strong start in Saturday night's regional championship game against Winamac.
Westview didn't get it, as Winamac opened with an 8-0 run. But it didn't take long for Westview to shake off the early cobwebs, and the Warriors had more than enough energy left to rally for a 69-53 win over Winamac.
After the early Winamac blitz — and being held off the scoreboard for the first 3:59 — Westview (23-4) responded with an 11-3 run over the remainder of the opening stanza and the teams were knotted at 11 at the first stop.
Westview opened the second period with an 8-2 run and surged out to a nine-point advantage at 22-13 midway through the frame. Westview took that same nine-point lead — at 29-20 — into the locker room at the half.
Winamac (15-9) opened with the first four points of the third to trim the Westview advantage to 29-24, but Westview responded with a 10-0 run to blitz out to a 15-point lead at 39-24.
Winamac got no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Westview coach Rob Yoder was proud of his team's determination, especially the way it fought through some early struggles.
"We had to weather that early run and not panic," Yoder said.
Senior Jordyn Bontrager said it felt "amazing" to be part of the first Westview team since 2008 to make it to semistate.
"We fell short against Bowman (Academy) the last time we were here, so we wanted to advance this time," Bontrager said.
Bontrager had 15 points. Chandler Aspy had 16 to lead all scorers for Westview. Jamar Weaver added 14 and Judah Zickafoose had 10.
Parker Fox led Winamac with 14 points.
Winamac coach Kyle Johnson said it came down to his team not being able to get the ball inside consistently.
"We needed a few more plays," Johnson said.
At semistate, Westview will face Cass, a 55-47 winner over Tipton in another regional final Saturday night. The location of that contest is yet to be determined.
Westview 75, Hammond Bishop Noll 64
Earlier, down by 50-38 to No. 5 Hammond Bishop Noll early in the fourth quarter of Saturday afternoon’s Class 2A North Judson Regional semifinal contest, things were not looking too good for Westview.
But Westview rallied for a double-overtime victory over Noll to advance to Saturday night’s finals.
Aspy was a force, leading all scorers with 24 points.
Aspy left the game briefly in the fourth quarter after taking a shot from a Noll player and receiving a cut above his left eye. After a trip to the training room for a bandage and a fresh jersey, Aspy was back on the court.
All in a day’s work, the Westview standout said with a smile as a North Judson trainer patched him up after the game.
“It was a fist, or an elbow, or something,” Aspy said. “I just wanted to get back out there.”
Better rebounding was the key to Westview’s late rally, Aspy said.
In addition to Aspy’s 24 points, Westview got 15 from Zickafoose and 14 apiece from Bontrager and Weaver.
Noll was led by Larry Crisler with 23 points.
Westview 75, Noll 64
WESTVIEW — Jordyn Bontrager 2 10-12 14, Daron Miller 1 0-0 3, Judah Zickafoose 7 3-4 17, Jamar Weaver 3 6-6 14, Cody Litwiller 0 0-0 0, Darren Hershberger 0 3-4 3, Chandler Aspy 9 6-12 24. Team: 22 28-38 75.
NOLL — Michael Jakubielski 1 0-0 3, Jasinto Carter 1 0-2 2, Anthony Diaz 1
0-0 2, Marquis Tarver 7 1-1 18, Roman Penn 3 1-2 9, Tyreon Gates 0 3-3 3, Jaylen Hord 2 0-2 4, Larry Crisler 9 3-6 23, Lee Howard Jr. 0 0-2 0. Team: 24 7-18 64.
Noll 14 12 15 12 3 8 — 64
Westview 9 12 11 21 3 19 — 75
3-point goals: Noll 7 (Tarver 3, Penn 2, Crisler 2), Westview 3 (Weaver 2, DMiller 1). Fouls: Noll 28, Westview 15. Fouled out: None.
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 533-2151, ext. 325 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at dvantress_tgn.