TOPEKA — Chandler Aspy's field goal and free throw percentages wound up a bit backwards in terms of what one might see in a typical box score, but all that mattered to him and the Westview Warriors at the end of a grueling 20 hours is that they're still moving forward in terms of winning games and chasing conference titles.
Aspy converted back-to-back, contested field goals in the lane midway through the fourth quarter as the visiting Warriors took the lead for good on their way to shaking off stubborn Fairfield 43-37 in boys high school basketball Saturday, Feb. 22.
"My guards got it inside to me, so I had to finish for them," said Aspy, who hit 5-of-7 from the field and overcame his 2-of-8 shooting at the line. "I struggle on free throws sometimes, but all of us today, we were just trying to battle it out, tough it out at the end."
Westview (15-4, 8-1) won its fourth straight game overall and, pending Prairie Heights' result later in the evening against Lakeland, remained at least tied for the Northeast Corner Conference lead with one league game to go apiece. Both the Warriors and Panthers will be favored in those finales next week, with the former traveling to Fremont (2-7) and the latter heading to Hamilton (1-8).
"Our kids deserve a lot of credit for gutting it out today," Westview coach Rob Yoder said of a Saturday afternoon win that followed a Friday night victory at Goshen. "That's two games on the road in less than 20 hours, so there's no question we weren't quite as sharp, didn't have as much juice in our legs, but we played together and found a way, and I think Fairfield deserves a lot of credit, too. They made it very difficult for us to score."
Aspy netted 12 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds against the Falcons (10-8, 6-3), who were eliminated from NECC title contention.
Point guard Jordyn Bontrager added game highs of 13 points, four assists and two blocked shots to go with six boards for the winners.
Aspy's basket and ensuing free throw at the 5:20 mark of the fourth quarter put his team up 31-29, and accounted for the fifth and final lead change of a rugged second half.
He added a baby hook 26 seconds later to stretch the gap to 33-29, and the hosts never could pull even down the stretch despite the Warriors stunningly, uncharacteristically making just 4-of-12 free throws over the final 1:23.
"I thought defensively our guys did everything we asked them to do," Fairfield coach Troy Beachy said. "We wanted to pressure them, really attack their ball-handlers, not just let them feed the post. We tried to pressure everywhere. We played well enough to be in contention, but we didn't shoot real well. It was that kind of day."
The Falcons finished 16-of-43 from the field for 37 percent, including just 1-of-10 outside the arc. While Westview labored at the line, the Warriors hit 15-of-32 from the field for 47 percent.
Fairfield star Joe Line — who went into the day averaging 18.6 points — was held to eight against the savvy defense of Bontrager and closed at 4-of-16 from the field. That eight points still led the Falcons, and he added seven boards.
"I think Line is a tremendous player, and I think Jordyn's one of the better on-ball defenders in the area," Yoder said of Bontrager, who gave away four inches. "His quickness and ability to get in front of people, there's not many people who can move him, and he's smooth doing it."
The Warriors trailed by as much as 21-12 late in the second quarter but scored the final four points of that period and outscored Fairfield 12-4 in the third to climb back into the game.
WESTVIEW 43, FAIRFIELD 37
Westview — Judah Zickafoose 2-3 3-4 7, Damon Hershberger 0-0 1-2 1, Chandler Aspy 5-7 2-8 12, Jamar Weaver 1-5 0-0 2, Jordyn Bontrager 5-13 3-7 13, Daron Miller 2-3 4-5 8, Andrew Yoder 0-0 0-0 0, Brody Jantzi 0-0 0-0 0, Case Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Cody Litwiller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 15-32 (.469) 13-26 (.500) 43.
Fairfield — Joe Line 4-16 0-0 8, Marcus Rodes 3-10 0-0 7, Thomas Martin 1-3 2-2 4, Brock Goeglein 3-5 0-0 6, John Stack 1-3 0-0 2, Kegan Showalter 1-1 2-3 4, Clay Bontrager 1-3 0-0 2, Sam Brown 1-2 0-0 2, Josh Stephens 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 16-43 (.372) 4-5 (.800) 37
Scoring By Quarters
Westview — 6 10 12 15 — 43
Fairfield — 8 13 4 12 — 37
3-point goals: Westview (0-8); Fairfield (1-10) — Rodes 1-5.
Rebounds: Westview (24) — Aspy 9, Bontrager 6; Fairfield (29) — Line 7, Martin 6, Showalter 5.
Assists: Westview (9) — Bontrager 4; Fairfield (9) — Line 3.
Steals: Westview (3) — Hershberger, Aspy, Bontrager; Fairfieldx (2) — Rodes, Showalter.
Turnovers: Westview 9, Fairfieldx 7.
Total fouls: Westview 11, Fairfield 22. Fouled out — none.
Officials: Dan Meyer, Bruce Wirick, Keith Chard.
Records: Westview 15-4 (8-1 NECC), Fairfield 10-8 (6-3 NECC).
Next: Westview at Fremont, Jimtown at Fairfield, both Tuesday, Feb. 25.
JV: Fairfield 38, Westview 32. Top scorers: Fairfield — Brady Willard 16, Cody Haab 6; Westview — Tim Miller 11, Lincoln McDonald 10, Lucas Yoder 8. JV records: Fairfield 11-6.