By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
No, it’s not boys sectional time — it just felt like it Friday night at West Noble.
The stakes for Friday night’s NECC clash between Westview and West Noble were a bit lower – all that was on the line in Ligonier was first place in the NECC and the driver’s seat for the stretch run.
Both the Chargers and Warriors entered Friday night’s showdown with identical records (14-1 overall, 7-0 NECC).
Someone was leaving Friday night with their first conference defeat.
That team ended up being the Chargers, as Westview took control of the contest in the second quarter and never relinquished it in a 67-63 win.
“This was a good win against a good team,” Westview coach Rob Yoder said. “We came out with some intensity and were able to maintain it.”
The two teams felt each other out through a pretty much even opening stanza, with the Warriors eking out a two-point advantage at 15-13 at the first stop.
But Westview seized the momentum to open the second quarter, outscoring the Chargers 16-5 over the opening six minutes of the stanza to surge out to a 31-18 lead. The Warriors led 36-23 at intermission.
The Warriors blitzed out to their biggest lead of the night at 40-25 in the opening minute of the third, but West Noble ripped off a 7-0 run to cull the Warrior lead to seven at 40-33.
Westview was able to hold off that brief Charger surge, however,and by the end of the third, the Warriors had worked their way back out to a double-digit lead at 49-39.
West Noble lost junior shooting guard Drew Schermerhorn to an apparent ankle injury early in the final quarter.
The Warriors battled out to a 14-point lead at 55-41 early in the fourth, but the Chargers were able to whittle that advantage down to 55-48 with 3:03 remaining to play.
Westview weathered that final West Noble push and was able to keep the Chargers at bay down the stretch.
Kyle Miller led the Warriors with 19 points. Jordyn Bontrager added 14 and Jamar Weaver chipped in with 13.
Bontrager said the packed atmosphere was a great one for he and his teammates to play in.
“We like this kind of environment,” Bontrager said. “We came out in the second quarter and were able to hit some shots and go on a run.”
Phil Miller led West Noble with 18 points. Schermerhorn added 15.
The Chargers are idle until next Saturday, Feb. 9 when they host Northridge in a nonconference contest.
Westview returns to action next Thursday night with an NECC contest at home against Prairie Heights.
West Noble 58,
Earlier, it was the Chargers prevailing on a buzzer-beating jump shot by Kelsie Peterson.
The Chargers (14-7 overall, 8-2 NECC) trailed most of the night before pulling it out at the end.
Haley Richardson and Peterson each had 22 points to lead all scorers for West Noble.
Maria McCoy had 20 to lead Westview. Grace Hales added 16.
West Noble opens Class 3A NorthWood Sectional play Tuesday night against Tippecanoe Valley.
Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Westview (12-8, 8-2) opens Class 2A Central Noble Sectional play Tuesday night with an opening round matchup against the Cougars in Albion.