GOSHEN — In a contest no one would surrender, NorthWood prevailed - barely.
The Panthers made the clutch plays in overtime Friday night to pull out 53-48 Northern Lakes Conference high school boys basketball decision over the upset-minded Goshen Redskins.
Senior Jonathan Wilkinson drove the middle to score for a 48-46 Panther lead with 2:34 to go in overtime. Later, after Goshen junior Austin Woolett scored to tie it, Wilkinson hit two free throws to put NorthWood ahead to stay with 1:27 remaining.
Wilkinson, scorless in the third and fourth periods, said, “Our motto all season has been being relentless. We face adversity and go after it. We got down in this game and found a way to fight back.”
It was a gallant effort by a Goshen team which was 6-for-8 from 3-point range and had just one turnover in the first half, yet led only 28-26 as NorthWood dominated the rebounding, 16-4.
GHS coach Brian Bechtel said, “We just needed to execute better in the overtime. We had two turnovers and missed a free-throw blockout. NorthWood turned the tide with its pressure and then hit its free throws.”
Senior Zach Zurcher led NorthWood with 23 points, Wilkinson tallied 13 and senior Will Stueve 12. Wilkinson had nine rebounds and Zurcher seven and sophomore Braxton Linville eight assists.
“Goshen played a spirited basketball game and shot it extremely well,” said NW coach Aaron Wolfe. “We fought hard to stay alive in the fourth quarter and are fortunate to come away with a victory.
“NLC games often go down to that last possession and I told our kids they just had to keep grinding it out. Goshen’s offense was devastating in the first half and I thought both teams played better defense in the second half.”
A surprise for Goshen was the play of 5-11 sophomore Cam Kline who had spectators checking their programs after he hit four 3-pointers in the first half to stun the Panthers.