Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

March 3, 2013

CLASS 4A BOYS BASKETBALL SECTIONAL FINALS: Raiders felled in finals

Tough Warsaw squad ends Northridge’s run

ELKHART — This time it didn’t take the Warsaw Tigers any extra sessions to record a win in the IHSAA Class 4A high school boys basketball sectional at North Side Gym in Elkhart.

Following a double-overtime win over Elkhart Central on Tuesday and a triple-overtime thriller over Concord on Friday the Tigers got a career-high 33 points from senior Jared Bloom and defeated the Northridge Raiders, 64-57, in the championship contest Saturday night.

“When the draw came out we felt it was a good thing we would play a game before facing Concord and that we wouldn’t meet Concord in the championship,” Warsaw coach Doug Ogle said. “You have to get some breaks in order to win a sectional and we felt those were our breaks.”

Warsaw (13-10) meets South Bend Adams (21-2) in the first game of the Michigan City regional next Saturday at 11 a.m.

Bloom tossed in 18 of his points in the second half as the Tigers rallied from a two-point halftime deficit (26-24) to a 42-35 lead by the end of the third period.

“No. 3 (Bloom) hurt us too much,” first-year Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas said.

“Bloom had lost his confidence, but he got it back at the right time,” Ogle said.

It was Northridge junior Nate Ritchie who did the early damage as he scored 13 points in the first quarter as the Raiders were up 16-11 at the first stop.

“I think we were a little hung over from Friday night’s win at the start of the game, but only on defense,” Ogle said. “We started the game in a zone and Northridge shredded it.

“Our offense was strong. That’s why I told the kids at halftime we were lucky to be down only two.

“Ritchie has improved so much since the first time we played Northridge (43-41 Warsaw win on Jan. 4 at the Tiger Den). If fact the entire Northridge team has improved since then. The Raiders are a completely different team than the one we saw the first time.”

Ritchie picked up his second foul at :42 of the first stanza with the Raiders holding a 14-11 advantage. He returned with 3:53 left in the second with the Raiders clinging to a 20-18 lead.

Warsaw limited Ritchie to eight points the rest of the way. His 21 topped the Raiders.

Senior Joey Ganyard picked up the scoring slack while Ritchie was on the bench in the second, netting eight of his 13 points during the quarter.

“Ganyard is tough to stop,” Thomas said. “He can finish plays through contact.”

Sophomore Pete Smith chipped in with 11 points for the Raiders. He connected three times from 3-point range for the only treys Northridge had in the contest.

Junior Jordan Stookey, the hero of Friday’s game with his 3-pointer at the end of the third overtime to defeat Concord, scored 12 points for the Tigers.

The Raiders trimmed Warsaw’s lead to four points (39-35) on a trey by Smith with :42 remaining in the third. Stookey responded with a ‘3’ of his own to put the Tigers up by seven entering the fourth.

“The ‘3’ by Stookey was big,” Thomas said.

The Raiders had one more run left in them. Ganyard scored on a layin at 7:09, Smith hit two free throws at 6:36 and Ritchie added two more freebies at 6:12 and the Raiders were down by only one (42-41).

“Our guys never gave up,” Thomas said. “When we were down seven I knew the game was not over.”

Bloom helped ice the game for the Tigers, hitting 8-of-9 freebies in the fourth.

The rookie coach got the first technical of his career with 1:46 left to play.

“All I said was that’s a foul,” he said. “I don’t know maybe I said it too loud.”

Northridge finishes (10-12).

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