Northridge tops NorthWood girls

By focusing on the basics, Northridge turned what might have been a close game into a blowout. They improved to12-4 while NorthWood dropped to 13-4.

Posted on Jan. 19, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 19, 2014 at 11:07 a.m.

MIDDLEBURY — A succession of little things paved the way for one big basketball victory.

By hustling for loose balls, using quick feet defensively and attacking open lanes of the dribble, Northridge turned what should have been a tight NLC girls high school basketball into a blowout.

Morgan Miller’s 13 points and gritty senior leadership gave the Raiders a 41-23 victory over NorthWood Saturday, Jan. 18 for just the third victory over the Panthers in school history.

A loss at Warsaw last week and a win over DeKalb this week opened some eyes.

“We had that three-game losing streak that started with these guys in our holiday tourney championship then back with Fort Wayne South in double-overtime, we didn’t play very well down at Warsaw,” Northridge coach Doug Springer said. “We went down there and didn’t play very tough, we didn’t do the little things we talked about to do to win championships ... and the biggest thing we saw was a lack of toughness.”

But a tough Monday practice and a 53-39 home win over DeKalb snapped Northridge’s three-game losing skid and ramped the Raiders’ focus.

“To play against good teams, it’s defense, blocking out, rebounding, getting some deflections, and executing ... we didn’t do any of those down at Warsaw,” Springer said. “(Against NorthWood) we came, we out-rebounded them, we hit free throws ... we out-toughed them. We haven’t done that before against NorthWood.”

The Panthers couldn’t get shots and didn’t make make many.

A 6-for-29 shooting effort from the floor and 11-of-20 at the line paved the way for a three-point second quarter and a two-point fourth period, ending NorthWood’s 10-game win streak.

Morgan Olson’s bucket at the 7:25 mark of the second quarter was the Panthers’ only field goal until Olson’s lay-in 45 seconds into the third.

“I knew it was going to be a tough game tonight. The refs let them play aggressive,” NorthWood coach Steve Neff said. “You can’t score 23 points and win a game. They beat us to the loose balls and obviously had a lot of people on Morgan. Still, when we did get the open shots, we didn’t know them down.

“It was frustrating for them, for me, for everybody. They were very aggressive. You could tell they wanted the game a lot more than we did. We didn’t play very well.”

Northridge led 24-11 at halftime, but NorthWood opened the second half with a 7-2 run to cut the margin to 26-18 at the 3:50 mark of the third.

The Raiders’ defense, though, allowed only one Panther basket the rest of the game.

“Our kids did a great job of following the gameplan. We took away a lot of the sets they like to run,” Springer said.

Northridge then sealed its third NLC win by holding NorthWood to just two Jordyn Frantz free throws and only five field goal attempts in the fourth quarter. The Raiders finished the final period with a long basket by Taylor Miller and Morgan Miller’s 7-of-8 effort at the foul stripe.

Northridge 41, NorthWood 23

NorthWood — Morgan Olson 2-7 2-4 6, Tiffanie Alexander 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor Fielstra 1-5 0-0 2, Haley Roe 0-2 6-8 6, Jordyn Frantz 3-13 3-3 9, Tori Schwartz 0-0 0-0 0, Inger Yoder 0-0 0-0 0, Shyla Southern 0-0 0-0 0, Taitlyn Trenshaw 0-0 0-0 0, Kaylee Haynes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 6-29 (.209) 11-20 (.555) 23.

Northridge — Morgan Miller 3-8 7-8 13, Taylor Miller 4-11 0-0 10, Molly Bontrager 0-0 0-0 0, Mikaela Zook 2-3 0-0 4, Brianne O’Dell 2-3 0-1 5, Ellie Lengacher 0-2 0-2 0, Kelly Miller 2-4 1-2 5, Baleigh Carithers 2-2 0-0 4. Totals: 15-33 (.454) 8-13 (.615) 41.

Scoring By Quarters

NorthWood 8 3 10 2 — 23

Northridge 11 13 8 9 — 41

3-point goals: NorthWood (0-5) — Roe 0-1, Fielstra 0-1, Frantz 0-3; Northridge (3-6) — T. Miller 2-4, O’Dell 1-2.

Rebounds: NorthWood (17) — Olson 6; Northridge (26) — O’Dell 7, M. Miller 7.

Turnovers: NorthWood 16, Northridge 13.

Fouls: NorthWood 16, Northridge 14.

Officials: Trent Beer, Trent Long, Mike Acton.

Records: NorthWood 13-4 (3-1 NLC), Northridge 12-4 (3-1 NLC).

Next: Jimtown at NorthWood Wednesday, Jan. 22; Northridge at Memorial Friday, Jan. 24.

JV: Northridge 26, NorthWood 23. Top scorers: Northridge — Keianna Yoder 8, Kelsey Brickner 8; NorthWood — Andrea Tuttle 6, McKayla Fielstra 6. JV records: Northridge 12-3, NorthWood 13-1.

NorthWood (13-3, 3-0) at Northridge (11-4, 2-1)

Saturday, Jan. 18, in Northern Lakes Conference girls basketball.

Going in:

NorthWood has won 10 straight. One of the wins is 40-36 in the Northridge Bankers Classic on Dec. 28.

Northridge stopped a three-game losing streak by beating DeKalb in the Raiders’ last game (Jan. 14).

Steve Neff is 647-178 in 37th season

Doug Springer is 98-51 in seventh season at Northridge, 150-69 in 10th season overall.

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