Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 4, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Raiders nipped at the buzzer

Northridge rally goes for naught in NLC contest.


WARSAW — Despite the fact we are in the midst of a winter cold spell, the Northridge Raiders were the victims of a “bloom” Friday night in an NLC high school boys basketball game at Warsaw.

Warsaw’s 6-0 senior Jared Bloom poured in 25 points, including the game-winning basket with 3.7 seconds left to play, as the Tigers defeated the Raiders 43-41.

“Bloom hit a tough shot,” Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas said. “The thing is (6-1 Northridge senior) Joey Ganyard tipped it and it still went in. With the kind of night Bloom had you knew he was going to take the last shot and you knew there was a good chance it was going in.

“We contested a lot of his shots. He elevates well. Watching him in practice he makes a lot of 3-pointers, but it was his penetration to the basket that hurt us tonight.”

Bloom was 12-of-21 shooting in the contest.

“There was no question Bloom was going to take the last shot for us,” Warsaw coach Doug Ogle said. “He played well the whole game and gave us enough of a cushion so we could hold on.”

The Tigers led 36-24 with 6:42 remaining after a basket by Bloom. The Raiders rallied and tied the score 41-41 with :32 left to play.

“We picked up our pressure on defense to try and speed Warsaw up,” Thomas said. “The guys also started making some shots.”

Six-seven junior Nate Ritchie got the Northridge comeback going with a three-point play at 6:17. Warsaw got a bucket from 5-11 senior Jason Ferguson to make it 38-27 at 5:50. The Raiders then went on a 10-0 run to pull within one point (38-37) with 1:36 to go. Five-eight sophomore Pete Smith got the Raiders going with a ‘3’ at 5:30, followed by two free throws from Ritchie at 4:36, a basket from 6-1 senior Austin Moniot at 4:11 and a trey by Ritchie at 1:36.

“We had different guys making plays down the stretch,” Thomas said.

The first-year Raider coach was glad to see that as early in the game when Ritchie was struggling to find his shot Northridge fell behind 24-16 at halftime and 32-21 at the end of three quarters.

“When Nate’s shoots are going in we are all right, but when his shots are not going in we need to find ways to get the other players involved,” Thomas said. “Warsaw’s defense bothered us.”

Bloom caused problems for the Raiders again when he found 6-2 senior Taylor Cone underneath with a nifty pass for a 40-37 Warsaw lead with 2:53 remaining.

“That was a great play,” Ogle said.

Northridge got a layup from Ritchie to make the score 40-39. Six-two Rashaan Jackson made a free throw with :32 left for a 41-39 Tiger lead. Six-foot junior Sam Ahonen’s layin at :17 knotted the score 41-41 and set up Bloom’s game winner.

Northridge had one more chance and a running 3-pointer by Ritchie bounced off the rim at the horn.

“Ritchie was one of the options on that play,” Thomas said. “We knew we could get three or four dribbles and get a decent look, but I never expected to get that good of one. I thought Warsaw would send a couple of people at him.”

“Ritchie got too good of  a look,” Ogle said. “He almost bounced that one in.”

Ogle was impressed by the Raiders.

“Northridge played with a competitive spirit and had different guys making plays at the end of the game,” the coach said.

The veteran Tiger coach was not pleased with the ball handling by his team as Warsaw had 18 turnovers.

“We had problems with Northridge’s defense especially the traps,” Ogle said. “Their defense is very good and the Raiders are not far away from being a spoiler in the conference.”

Ritchie tossed in 20 points to lead the Raiders. Smith added eight and Ahonen six.

Warsaw 43, Northridge 41

NORTHRIDGE — Nate Ritchie 7-18 5-8 20, Pete Smith 3-6 0-0 8, Sam Ahonen 3-6 0-0 6, Joey Ganyard 0-3 0-0 0, Austin Moniot 1-3 0-0 2, Arick Doberenz 0-0 0-0 0, Tom Morrison 1-1 0-0 3, Christian Bach 1-1 0-0 2. Team: 16-38 5-8 41

WARSAW— Jared Bloom 12-21 0-0 25, Darren Walcott 0-1 0-0 0, John Swanson 1-1 0-0 2, Nate Pearl 0-0 0-0 0, Jason Ferguson 1-1 0-0 2, Taylor Cone 2-5 0-1 4, Jordan Stookey 3-8 0-0 6, Rashaan Jackson 1-1 1-2 4. Team: 20-38 1-3 43

Northridge    11    5    5    20    —    41

Warsaw    11    13    8    11    —    43

3-point goals: Northridge 4-13 (Smith 2-3, Morrison 1-1, Ritchie 1-5, Moniot 0-2, Ganyard 0-2). Warsaw 2-9 (Bloom 1-5, Jackson 1-1, Stookey 0-3).

Fouls: Northridge 11, Warsaw 9.

Rebounds: Northridge 14 (Ritchie 5, Ahonen 2, Ganyard 32, Moniot 2). Warsaw 27 (Cone 8, Swanson 5).

Assists: Northridge 6 (Moniot 2). Warsaw 9 (Stookey 3, Bloom 2).

Steals: Northridge 9 (Ritchie 2, Smith 2, Ganyard 2). Warsaw 7 (Jackson 2, Swanson 2).

Records (next games): Northridge (3-7, 0-2 NLC) hosts NorthWood Friday, Jan. 11. Warsaw (6-4, 2-0 NLC) at Fort Wayne Snider tonight.