By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
In a matchup of two of the more veteran high school girls basketball teams in the NLC, the Warsaw Tigers looked like the more seasoned group Saturday night at Northridge.
The hometown Raiders had problems solving Warsaw’s 2-3 zone defense over the first three quarters as the Tigers went on to post a 52-39 win and hand Northridge it’s first conference loss of the season.
“We played scared and that was the biggest disappointment tonight,” Northridge coach Doug Springer said. “We did not attack Warsaw’s zone like we worked on in practice. We are a veteran team and we’ve got to find a way to fix that. It’s unfortunate that we are in the heart of our schedule and we are not a very good team right now.”
Warsaw coach Michelle Harter said, “Our goal was not to give Northridge good looks at the basket. For the most part we did a good job of finding their 3-point shooters. Late in the game when Northridge started getting some looks from outside we switched over to a man defense.”
The Raiders trailed 31-20 after three periods. An 9-3 run by the Tigers got the lead up to 16 points with 5:03 to play. It was at that point the Raiders began to find their shots from beyond the arc. Senior Madison Schrock connected three times from long range and her twin sister Haley Schrock once as Northridge closed the gap to 45-39 with 1:11 remaining when junior Brianne O’Dell drained a trey. The Raiders were then forced to foul and the Tigers swished seven free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
“When Northridge started hitting from outside We reminded the girls about keeping their composure,” Harter said. “We had a great team effort on defense. You don’t hear much about a team effort on defense but that is what we had. In practice we talk about moving with the flight of the ball and that is just what the girls did tonight. If you wait to move until a player catches the ball it’s too late.”
Warsaw was 24-of-36 from the free-throw line in the contest compared to 5-of-10 for the Raiders.
“It’s no excuse since we didn’t play well, but you are not going to beat many teams when there is a difference like that in free throws,” Springer said. “We were taking the ball to the basket just like Warsaw was. They got the calls and we didn’t.”
Northridge scored 20 points over the first three quarters before tossing in 19 in the fourth.
“Early in the game we caught the ball and stood around,” Springer said. “That allowed Warsaw’s zone to shift and cover us. That is not what we had prepared to do all week in practice. Finally in the fourth period the girls started looking for their shots.”
Warsaw’s post player — 6-0 junior Nikki Grose — gave the Raiders fits on the inside with 15 points and 17 rebounds.
“Nikki had a great game,” Harter said. “She made Northridge alter a lot of their shots.
She was only 5-of-11 from the line but she made some big free throws for us late in the game.”
Springer said, “Teams like Warsaw and NorthWood that have big post players are going to give us problems. We don’t have the kind of post players that can go inside and bang with those bigger post players. Our post players are more on the athletic side.”
Haley Schrock netted 14 points and Madison Schrock 12 to lead the Raiders.
Senior Jennifer Walker-Crawford netted 16 points and classmate Lindsay Baker 10 for the Tigers.
Warsaw 52, Northridge 39
WARSAW — Sarah Ray 0-0 2-2 2, Melanie Holladay 2-5 5-8 9, Eryn Leek 0-0 0-0 0, Jennifer Walker-Crawford 4-8 8-9 16, Lindsay Baker 2-6 4-6 10, Brooklyn Harrison 0-3 0-0 0, Pam Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Nikki Grose 5-8 5-11 15. Team: 13-31 24-36 52
NORTHRIDGE — Kelly Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Brianne O’Dell 1-2 0-0 3, Morgan Miller 3-8 1-2 7, Haley Schrock 4-9 1-4 14, Madison Schrock 4-9 0-0 12, Ellie Lengacher 0-01 0-0 0, Mikaela Zook 0-6 3-4 3, Molly Bontrager 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Miller 0-4 0-0 0. Team: 13-39 5-10 39
Warsaw 11 10 10 21 — 52
Northridge 6 7 7 19 — 39
3-point goals: Warsaw 2-6 (Baker 2-6). Northridge 8-21 (mSchrock 4-7, hSchrock 3-6, O’Dell 1-2, Zook 0-2, tMiller 0-4).
Fouls: Warsaw 8, Northridge 22.
Rebounds: Warsaw 32 (Grose 17, Baker 6, Walker-Crawford 4). Northridge 21 (hSchrock 6, mMiller 6, O’Dell 4).
Assists: Warsaw 7 (Baker 2, Holladay 2). Northridge 9 (hSchrock 3, tMiller 2, Zook 2).
Steals: Warsaw 11 (Baker 4). Northridge 5 (hSchrock 2).
Turnovers: Warsaw 15, Northridge 16.
Officials: Eric Coburn, Kirk Robinson, Trent Long.
Records (next games): Northridge (12-3, 2-1 NLC) at DeKalb Tuesday. Warsaw (13-0, 3-0 NLC) hosts Carroll Wednesday.
JV score: Northridge won 28-26. (Northridge: Kelly Miller 14, Alyssa Zook 6. Warsaw: Vicki Harris 11, Erin Clemens 7).