By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Digging yourself a 9-0 hole out of the gate isn’t the best way to start a basketball game.
But that’s exactly what the Westview boys basketball team did Friday in a 49-43 loss to Goshen.
It was just the Warriors’ second loss of the season and dropped Westview to 17-2 overall.
Goshen improved to 12-6.
Westview coach Rob Yoder credited the Redskins.
“They played with energy at the start,” Yoder said. “We had our runs, but we couldn’t seem to sustain anything.”
Goshen used that energy from the opening tip and aggressive play on the offensive boards to sprint out to the aforementioned 9-0 lead.
Westview, however, weathered the early Redskin surge and responded with a 6-0 run of its own. The Redskins led 11-7 at the first stop.
Neither team was able to get into any kind of offensive rhythm in the second stanza and Goshen led 19-16 at intermission.
Westview opened the second half with four quick points to take its first lead of the night at 20-19.
But Goshen responded with an 11-3 run to establish control of the contest. Goshen led 34-26 entering the final eight minutes.
The Warriors closed to within four on two occasions in the fourth, but the Redskins hit 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to preserve a hard-fought win in one of the toughest gyms in the area.
Goshen coach Brian Bechtel said his team’s seniors made the difference.
“We were ready to play tonight,” Bechtel said. “We went a little cold on offense at spots, but when that happens, you need your defense to step up. We got that tonight.”
One of the seniors Bechtel mentioned was guard Austin Henke, who hit four clutch free throws in the final two minutes and finished with eight points.
“We had something to prove tonight, because we don’t feel like we’ve been getting respect,” Henke said. “We came out and made a statement early.”
The Redskins were led by Sam Stegelmann with 14 points. Jesse Good added 12.
Westview was led by Kyle Miller with 12 points. Chandler Aspy has 11 and Jordyn Bontrager chipped in with nine.
The Warriors wrap up the NECC season at home against Fremont Tuesday night. Goshen is on the road at South Bend St. Joseph.
Earlier, the Goshen JV lost to Westview, 45-29.
Goshen was led by junior, Alex Haney who scored eight points. Fellow junior DJ Ambrose added six in the loss.
Goshen is now 12-6 on the season and plays at South Bend St. Joseph on Tuesday night.