By STU SWARTZ
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Turns out the Goshen Redskins needed all those early points Friday night.
The Redskins, leading the Warsaw Tigers by 16 at halftime, had to scratch and claw to hold on for a 56-51 Northern Lakes Conference win at GHS.
It was a welcome result for a Goshen team which came out on the short side of lopsided scores with the Penn Kingsmen and Concord Minutemen in their previous two outings.
They did it by going 16-for-20 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and, most importantly, never surrendering the lead to the hard-charging Tigers.
“We needed this for both our confidence and momentum,” said Redskin coach Brian Bechtel. “After those last two games, our guys focused on the little things all week and that was important.”
Seniors Jesse Good and Sam Stegelmann both scored 16 points for GHS, freshman Brady Bechtel 10, senior Austin Henke six and sophomore Austin Woolett four.
Goshen blazed to a 14-4 lead by the end of the first quarter and the difference peaked at 26-8 shortly before halftime.
“We got out of the gate on defense because of good communication,” said Bechtel. “We were trying to take Warsaw out of its set plays and that also made our offense go. We had better focus on getting the ball into scoring position.”
With the margin at 16, the second half figured to be a test of physical endurance and it was. Warsaw, ice cold in the first 16 minutes, suddenly couldn’t miss after intermission.
The Tigers clawed back to within 36-26 by the end of the third quarter and got within two when junior Nate Pearl hit his third ‘3’ of the final stanza to make it 50-48 with 24 seconds to play.
But, the Redskins held on as Good was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the last 18 seconds. Goshen scored its last 12 points on free throws in the final 2:38. A drive down the middle by Bechtel and a slick inside move by Stegelmann netted Goshen its only field goals of the fourth quarter.
“Our team likes to share the ball and all five starters are capable of scoring,” said Bechtel. “Stegelmann was taking it to the hole early and, when Warsaw changed its defense, Brady made some nice moves to the basket.
“At halftime, we talked about playing with poise because we figured Warsaw would pressure us and make a run. We are a good free-throw shooting team and hit them in the clutch.”
Senior Jared Bloom led Warsaw with 18 points and Pearl scored 12.
Goshen, 7-3 overall and 2-1 in the NLC, hosts Mishawaka Marian on Tuesday and visits NorthWood on Friday.
GAME NOTES: Members of Goshen’s 2003 NLC champions, led by Indiana All-Star Andrew Hershberger, were honored before the tipoff. Other players on that team were Nick McCloughen, Jeff Swartz, Jeff Landis, Matt Lewallen, Adrian Romo, Chase Sheeley, Jordan Hughes, David Knight, Brandon Miller, Sean Farver, Andrew Bartley and David Koronkiewicz....This week also marked the 50th anniversary of a 67-64 Goshen victory over the No. 1-rated Michigan City Red Devils. Hall of Famer Art Cosgrove coached that GHS team with Ron Miller, Randy Saal, Fred Hostetler, Doug Smith and John Corporon forming a Redskin “Fabulous Five” which posted a 24-2 record and No. 5 state ranking.
Goshen 56, Warsaw 51
GOSHEN — Jesse Good 3-8 10-12 18, Sam Stegelmann 6-10 6-9 18, Brady Bechtel 2-3 5-6 10, Austin Henke 1-1 3-4 6, Austin Woolett 2-3 0-0 4, Alex Hartsough 0-0 0-0 0, Deric Haynes 0-1 0-0 0, Cristian Barron 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-26 24-31 56
WARSAW — Jared Bloom 6-15 6-7 18, John Swanson 1-1 0-3 2, Jason Ferguson 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Cone 4-6 0-0 8, Jordan Stookey 3-5 1-2 7, Nate Pearl 4-6 0-0 12, Rashaan Jackson 0-4 0-1 0, Quim Romans 0-0 0-0 0, Darren Walcott 2-2 0-0 4. Totals: 20-39, 7-13 51
Goshen 14 12 10 20 — 56
Warsaw 4 6 16 25 — 51
3-point shooting: Goshen 4-8 (Good 2-4, Henke 1-1, Bechtel 1-2, Stegelmann 0-1), Warsaw 4-14 (Pearl 4-6, Jackson 0-3, Bloom 0-4, Stookey 0-1)
Rebounds: Warsaw 22 (Bloom 6), Goshen 17 (Good 4, Henke 3, Stegelmann 3, Bechtel 3, Woolett 3)
Assists: (Goshen) Henke 3, Bechtel 3, Stegelmann 2, Good 2. (Warsaw) Stookey 5.
Steals: (Goshen) Good 3, Woolett 2, Henke 2.
Turnovers: Goshen 12, Warsaw 15
Fouls (fouled out): Warsaw 23 (Stookey), Goshen 19
Officials: Dennis Groning, Jon Hampton, Drew Danik.
JV score: Warsaw, 35-28 (Jack Gingerich 8, David Ambrose 6, Cameron Kline 5, Trevor Weldy 4, Oliver Nafziger 3, Alex Haney 2 for 6-4 GHS).