TOPEKA — Whatever Rob Yoder said at halftime must have worked.
Yoder’s Westview boys basketball team exploded for 42 second-half points to defeat Northeast Corner Conference rival Fairfield, 64-40, Friday night at Westview. The offensive explosion came after the Falcons (8-5, 4-1 in NECC play) had a 23-22 lead on the Warriors (13-4, 6-0) at halftime.
“We just did a poor job of making plays in the first half. There were plays to be made, but we just didn’t make them,” Yoder said. “I thought we were pretty good at making plays in the second half.”
Westview was led, offensively, by Rob’s son, Charlie. The junior had 27 points, 16 of which came in the second half. He had a stretch early in the fourth quarter where he scored seven unanswered points, expanding the Warriors lead from 12 to 19 in less than a minute.
“My teammates just did a really great job of getting me into places where I could score,” Charlie Yoder said. “Tonight, it was me getting the shots. On another night, it could be anyone else on this team.”
“He can score points so quickly, I think that’s what makes him so dangerous,” Rob Yoder added. “He can get seven points in 30 seconds. A gift he has is that he can shoot it quickly. He gets it off quick. Fortunately, tonight, it went in.”
Fairfield had as good of a start as you want for a road game, scoring the first eight points of the contest. It quickly quieted the packed house inside Westview High School.
“That was kind of nice, wasn’t it?” Fairfield coach Troy Beachy said after the game. “The first half was pretty solid. I don’t think I have too many complaints.”
Westview responded with an 8-0 run of their own, highlighted by two three-point field goals from Charlie Yoder.
“We’re just an old team … we’re used to stuff. Even if we had gotten down more, I think we would’ve been fine,” Charlie Yoder said.
The second half was a challenge on offense for Fairfield, as the Falcons had a hard time scoring against Westview’s man-to-man defense. They only managed 17 points in the entire second half, a figure that Westview scored more of in the third and fourth quarters separately (24 in the third, 18 in the fourth).
“They missed some shots early in the game, and then I think they shot 100 percent the rest of the game,” Beachy joked. “We lost to a really good team in the second half. I’m not going to say really too much. They’re just really good.”
Peyton Faldoe was the lone bright spot on offense for Fairfield, scoring 18 points.
“Smallest guy on the floor ends up leading you. It’s not always about how big you are,” Beachy said. “Big heart and stepped up.”
The 24-7 scoring advantage in the third quarter for the Warriors was keyed by senior Nick Rensberger. He led Westview with eight points in the third as they turned a one-point deficit into a 16-point lead.
“I think he was more determined to just get the job done,” Rob Yoder said. “He had a lot of balls poked out of his hands in the first half … he played a really good game for us.”
It’s a big rivalry win for the Warriors, but coach Yoder stressed that it’s important to treat the win like any other game.
“There’s a lot of teams that consider us a rival. If we get caught up in just rivalry games, well, we’ve got a lot of those,” Rob Yoder said. “A lot of people like to try and beat us, especially when you’re neighboring communities. Yeah, it’s a big game for us and it’s a big game for them because a lot of people turn out for it, but all games are equally important to show improvement and play well.”
Austin Hough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-533-2151, ext. 325. Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinHoughTGN