Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More passes pleasing to NorthWood coach Neff after win over Fairfield Saturday (The Elkhart Truth/File Art)
More passes pleasing to NorthWood coach Neff after win over Fairfield Saturday

Posted on Jan. 5, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

NAPPANEE — Steve Neff had seen his NorthWood High School girls basketball team play better on offense.

But the Black Swish (11-3) got the job done often enough Saturday, Jan. 4, to earn a 44-32 win against potential Class 3A NorthWood Sectional opponent Fairfield.

“We played hard, we missed a lot of shots and we missed a lot of free throws — all things we can correct,” said Neff, who saw his team win for the eighth straight time in 2013-14. “That’s the good part.”

Neff saw his team get out of offensive sync a few times Saturday, thanks in part to Fairfield’s scrappy defense and also because of scrapping the offensive plan.

“We’re just so much better when we reverse the ball a few times and get everybody in position rather than one pass and put it up,” said Neff. “If we work it and get into the offensive flow, we go get an offensive rebound maybe.”

The Black Swish did get the basketball into the hands of Morgan Olson (20 points) and Jordyn Frantz (11) on a consistent basis.

While NorthWood did hold Fairfield 23 points below its season average and made the Falcons cough the ball up 17 times, it was not without effort.

“Fairfield did a good job,” said Neff. “They ran their offense and they kept running it. They make you work on defense. They did go side to side quite a few times. We were able to stop them this time.”

While the Black Swish played four games last weekend in winning the Northridge Bankers Classic, it had been two weeks since Fairfield played a game.

Falcons coach Brodie Garber emphasized a good start against what he called the best team Fairfield (7-2) has played so far this season.

“The start of the game set the tone for the rest of it,” said Garber, who saw his team lead 11-9 near the end of the first quarter then trailed by 11 a little over two minutes into the second quarter.

“We played pretty well in spurts, but to beat a NorthWood it has to be continuous things and not just those random spurts of good play,” said Garber.

Haley Brown (11 points) and Jenna Kieper (8) paced the Falcon attack. Point guard Brooke Mast had five points as did Katie Yates. Mast spent large portions of the game on the bench in foul trouble.

“The ball is in (Mast’s) hand the majority of the time,” said Garber. “But we’ve got some youngsters that with a little more experience are going to do just fine. This was Alexis Zook’s first game back (following shoulder surgery). She’s the back-up point.

“We’ve got sophomores (Alexis Zook, Jalisa Schwartz and Katie Kieper among them) who are getting valuable varsity experience.”

Trouble is also what the NorthWood defense often presented to Fairfield’s offense. The Black Swish kept the Falcons way away from the basket, especially at the top of the key and exposed a weakness Fairfield had largely gotten away with in other games.

“They put you in spots where it’s hard to play basketball from,” said Garber. “We haven’t been doing a very good job of faking before we pass and today, we needed to.”

If NorthWood and Fairfield see each other again at IHSAA tournament time, that is scheduled to happen the week of Feb. 10-15. The tournament draw is slated for Feb. 2.


Fairfield — Jalisa Schwartz 0-3 0-0 0, Jenna Kieper 3-4 1-1 8, Haley Brown 4-6 3-4 11, Katie Yates 1-9 3-4 5, Brooke Mast 2-3 1-2 5, Alexis Zook 1-6 1-2 3, Katie Kieper 0-3 0-0 0, Madison Riley 0-0 0-0 0, Alyssa Zook 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-34 (.323) 9-13 (.692) 32.

NorthWood — Morgan Olson 8-12 3-4 20, Tif Alexander 0-2 1-2 1, Taylor Fielstra 1-6 0-1 3, Haley Roe 2-5 0-1 4, Jordyn Frantz 3-9 4-5 12, Tori Schwartz 0-0 0-0 0, Inger Yoder 2-4 0-0 4, Shyla Southern 0-1 0-0 0, Arika Flickinger 0-0 0-0 0, Andrea Tuttle 0-0 0-0 0, Taitlyn Trenshaw 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-39 (.410) 8-13 (.615) 44.

Scoring By Quarters

Fairfield 11 3 11 7 — 32

NorthWood 14 9 13 8 — 44

3-point goals: Fairfield (1-10) — J. Kieper 1-4; NorthWood (4-12) — Frantz 2-7, Olson 1-1, Fielstra 1-3.

Rebounds: Fairfield (25) — Brown 7, J. Kieper 4, Ale. Zook 4; NorthWood (28) — Olson 11, Frantz 6.

Assists: NorthWood — Frantz 3, Alexander 3.

Steals: NorthWood — Frantz 4.

Turnovers: Fairfield 17, NorthWood 11.

Fouls: Fairfield 16, NorthWood 11. Fouled out — Mast (:12.1, fourth quarter)

Officials: Keith Denlinger, Kent Delinger.

Records: NorthWood 11-3, Fairfield 7-2.

Next: Fairfield at Jimtown Tuesday, Jan. 7; Wawasee at NorthWood Saturday, Jan. 11.

JV: NorthWood 41, Fairfield 19. Top scorers: NorthWood — Roni Hochstetler 10, Bailie Lehman 8, Kaylee Haynes 5; Fairfield — Andrea Hagar 5. JV records: NorthWood 12-0, Fairfield 5-3.