EMMA — Coach Rob Yoder expects two things from his Westview High School boys basketball players — to play hard and be a good teammate.
“If you can’t do that, you can’t be a Westview player,” the coach said.
Those two simple things have gotten the Warriors into the Final Four of the Class 2A state tournament. The unranked Warriors (22-4) take on No. 7 Lewis Cass (22-2) in the northern semistate Saturday at 4 p.m. at Huntington North High School.
Those two qualities may never have been more evident than in last Saturday’s regional semifinal win over Hammond Noll. Down 50-38 early in the fourth period Westview rallied for a 75-64 victory in double overtime.
“We looked to be all but out of that game, but we still had one last surge left in us,” Yoder said.
Senior point guard Jordyn Bontrager said, “The Hammond Noll win shows we are a legitimate contender. There were a lot of crucial points in the game and we fought to finish it off. It was all about guts.”
Junior Chandler Aspy added, “We never give up. We will give it everything we have.”
Aspy had a “Rocky-type” moment in the win over Hammond Noll after sustaining a cut over his left eye that required attention from the Westview trainer Joel Pippenger.
“I heard the crowd going crazy while we were in the locker room,” Aspy said. “That fired everyone up to play harder. It was one of the most exciting comebacks I’ve ever been involved in.”
The Westview faithful support their team like few other schools.
Bontrager grew up in Elkhart.
“I never heard of Westview basketball until about the 7th grade when my grandpa (Duane Bontrager) started telling me about the Warriors,” he said. “But it wasn’t until my arrival at Westview that I learned what a basketball community this is. We love every one of our fans. When we go to away games we learn other communities don’t support their team the way our fans support us.”