Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

March 3, 2013

CLASS 3A PREP BOYS BASKETBALL SECTIONAL FINALS: Panthers start fast, then fade against Tippy Valley

SYRACUSE — NorthWood flashed some early lightning. Then, Tippecanoe Valley stole the thunder.

Valley’s Vikings rallied from an early 13-2 deficit with some dominating play, pulling away for a 60-51 win over the NW Panthers in the championship game of a Class 3A high school boys basketball sectional at Wawasee.

Valley, 20-3, advances to a four-team regional next Saturday at Blackford while the Panthers close up shop with a 16-7 record.

For legendary TV coach Bill Patrick, it’s a 16th sectional title spanning over five decades. His first occurred at Whitko in 1974. The Vikings hadn’t won one since 2007.

“It never gets old,” said Patrick. “It has been awhile since the last one, so it’s nice to be back on top. I’m especially happy for our seniors.”

The Vikings’ rally was sparked by 6-5 sophomore reserve Chainey Zolman who fired in 18 points, something the Panthers weren’t expecting.

“They got a big lift from Zolman,” said NorthWood coach Aaron Wolfe. “He hadn’t been shooting well in recent games, but came through in this one. That’s what makes championship teams.

“Valley outplayed us in this game and showed why it is a 20-win club. I just wish we could have played a little better after that great start.”

Jonathan Wilkinson, 6-5 junior, was sensational early for the Panthers with nine first-period points. Down by 11, the Vikings scored the last five points of the quarter to get within 13-7.

NorthWood maintained a lead throughout the second quarter before Zolman hit a ‘3’ from the left corner with :02 on the clock, sending Valley sprinting to the dressing room with a 24-22 lead.

The Vikings led 40-34 at the third stop and stretched it to 51-42 with 1:59 to play. A ‘3’ by Wilkinson at 1:45 got the Panthers within six, but they would get no closer.

Valley scored its last nine points from the free-throw line in the last 1:40.

“We were out of sync early,” said Patrick. “Then, we settled into our 1-3-1 zone defense and packed it back. We just don’t match up with NorthWood man to man.

“NorthWood is a good team. They led us by 11 points at our place earlier this season. Then we got our trap going and were able to pull it out.”

Senior Nick Kindig led the Vikings with 20 points while junior Tanner Andrews had 12 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Valley was 8-for-16 from 3-point range.

Wilkinson finished with 21 points and six rebounds for the Panthers while junior Zach Zurcher had 13 points and seven rebounds, senior Tommy Klem eight tallies and junior Tanner Farmwald seven.

After going 5-for-9 from the field in the first quarter, the Panthers were just 14-of-37 the rest of the way. They were just 5-for-16 from long range.

“It was a combination of their 1-3-1 zone defense and our inability to attack it,” said Wolfe.

“We lose a key senior in Klem, but have a good foundation to build on for the coming year.”

Valley 60, N’Wood 51

T. VALLEY — Alex Thacker 3-7 1-4 8, Tanner Andrews 4-8 4-6 12, Jake Ritchey 1-1 0-0 2, Nick Kindig 6-17 5-6 20, Ben Shriver 0-0 0-0 0, Chainey Zolman 7-9 0-0 18, Jarred Littlejohn 0, Gavin Bussard 0, Aaron Hoffman 0, Bryce Zimpelman 0, Chandler O’Connor 0. Totals: 21-42 10-16 60

NORTHWOOD — Zach Zurcher 5-9 2-6 13, Tanner Farmwald 3-5 0-0 7, Tommy Klem 4-12 0-2 8, Kyle McCoy 0-1 2-2 2, Jonathan Wilkinson 7-17 4-5 21, Will Stueve 0-2 0-0 0, Braxton Linville 0. Totals: 19-46 8-15 51

T. Valley    7    17    16    20 — 60

NorthWood    13    9    12    17 — 51

3-point shooting: Valley 8-16 (Zolman 4-4, Kindig 3-10, Thacker 1-2), NorthWood 5-16 (Wilkinson 3-11, Zurcher 1-1, Farmwald 1-1, McCoy 0-1, Klem 0-2)

Rebounds: NorthWood 28 (Zurcher 7, Farmwald 6, Wilkinson 6, Klem 5), Valley 24 (Andrews 11)

Fouls: Valley 10, NorthWood 18

Turnovers: Valley 10, NorthWood 12

Officials: Ron Day, Bud Wolfe, Steve Godfroy

 

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