Goshen News, Goshen, IN


December 27, 2012

PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Panthers prevail in tourney opener

MIDDLEBURY — NorthWood’s version of the “Twin Towers” led the Black Swish to a 62-45 first-round win over the Homestead Spartans Thursday in the Bankers Classic high school girls basketball holiday tournament at Northridge.

Senior Savannah Bley and junior Morgan Olson combined for 41 points and 23 rebounds for the winners.

“They look for each other on the court,” NorthWood coach Steve Neff said.

Bley netted 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds. She scored 15 points in the second half as the NorthWood lead expanded its lead from a 26-22 advantage at intermission.

“Bley missed our last two games with an injury,” Neff said. “It was nice to she her back to full strength.”

Olson tossed in 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting to go with 11 rebounds. A number of her points came on mid-range jump shots.

“She has developed a very good shot,” Neff said. “She is shooting over 50 percent from the field. A lot of people think that she is getting a lot of layups, but that isn’t the case.”

The Spartans began the game by hitting 8-of-10 field goals and had an 18-14 lead after the opening quarter. Homestead’s shooting cooled off and NorthWood’s defensive pressure picked up as the Spartans were 11-of-38 from the field the rest of the way.

“We hustled on defense and contested a lot of shots,” Neff said. “We forced some Homestead players to shoot the ball that were not the ones they wanted taking the shots.”

The Black Swish began working the ball inside to Bley and Olson in the third quarter and the NorthWood lead expanded to 10 points (43-32) on a basket by Bley at 1:32 and one by Olson at 1:01. The Black Swish took a 42-34 lead into the fourth period.

Homestead cut the deficit to eight points (44-36) on a trey by sophomore Josie Fisher with 6:24 left to play. Baskets by Bley and senior Maddie Schwartz pushed the lead back up to 12 (48-36) at the 5:37 mark. The Spartans got to within seven points (48-41) at 5:02 only to have the Black Swish close out the game with a 14-4 run.

“This was a good win for us,” Neff said. “To score 62 points on a good team like Homestead and to hold them to 45 points is good.”

Neff was happy with the play of some of his bench players.

“(Sophomore) Ashley Yoder did a nice job for us and (junior) Inger Yoder hit a big 3-pointer,” the coach said. “(Senior) Taylor Stutzman gave us some good minutes in the backcourt with (senior) Maddie Schwartz. The two of them give us a nice 1-2 punch back there.”

Sophomore Jordyn Frantz chipped in with seven points and junior Taylor Fielstra six for NorthWood.

Fisher netted 12 points, junior Sydney Buck and sophomore Grace German both 10 to lead Homestead.

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Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

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