Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

January 12, 2013

PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Redskins hold on

Goshen bests area rival Warsaw in NLC slugfest

GOSHEN —  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.

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