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Close loss too familiar for Central

Once again, Central loses a close game after leading most of the contest.
Posted on Feb. 26, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Troy Noble had seen this script before.

It began as it had so many times before: A strong start, a healthy lead. Central took off on a 10-0 scoring run early against Warsaw in the opening game of the Elkhart Class 4A sectional.

Then, the fall. Central relaxed a hair and the Tigers went on 6- and 10-point runs.

Central surged, went back up by eight, then fell behind. The Blazers had two overtimes to fight back but Warsaw sank a free throw with a second left in the second overtime to seal a 45-44 win.

Disappointing? Absolutely. Surprising? Unfortunately not.

It was the sixth time this season Central had blown a halftime or third quarter lead. It was the 10th time they lost by eight points or less.

“It was a microcosm of our season,” Noble said. “We got out of the gate nice, had a 12-4 lead...Then (Warsaw) played better. They played with a sense of urgency like seniors do. We had some turnovers that they caused. They showed maturity, physicality and toughness.”

A combination of poorly-timed misses and Warsaw senior Jared Bloom coming alive with 10 points in the fourth quarter drilled in the dagger for Central. When Warsaw missed its first shot in overtime, Central rebounded the ball and burned the three remaining minutes off the clock to get a final shot.

The Blazers got two chances and missed both.

“We just wanted to get that last shot because it looked like they were going to do the same thing, so we wanted to use a similar tactic,” Noble said of the decision to burn the clock.

One bright spot in Central’s loss was senior Blake Brouwer, who came off the bench to nail four 3-pointers and all five of his shots from the field for a team-high 15 points.

“That’s what seniors should do,” Noble said of Brouwer’s performance. “Him and Brian (Harter). They played how seniors should play. We’re going to miss them.”

Warsaw 45, Central 44 (2OT)

Central — Genoris Crawford 0-2 0-0 0, Terell Street 4-13 1-3 9, John Stahl 2-8 2-2 6, Jaron Walters 0-2 0-0 0, Tre Taylor 2-6 3-3 7, Blake Brouwer 5-5 1-2 15, Brian Harter 3-4 0-0 6. Totals: 15-38 (.395) 5-8 (.625) 44.

Warsaw — Jared Bloom 5-8 5-6 17, John Swanson 2-3 0-0 4, Taylor Cone 4-7 1-1 9, Jordan Stookey 0-7 0-0 0, Rashaan Jackson 7-10 0-0 15, Jason Ferguson 0-1 0-0 0, Nate Pearl 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-36 (.500) 6-8 (.750) 45.

Scoring By Quarters

Central 12 13 10 7 0 2 — 44

Warsaw 8 13 11 10 0 3 — 45

3-point goals: Central (5-14) — Brouwer 4, Street; Warsaw (3-5) — Bloom 2, Jackson.

Rebounds: Central (19) — Brouwer 5, Taylor 4; Warsaw (15) — Swanson 3, Stookey 3.

Assists: Central (8) — Stahl 2, Walters 2; Warsaw (12) — Stookey 7, Bloom 4.

Steals: Central (5) — Street 2; Warsaw (1) — Stookey.

Turnovers: Central 13, Warsaw 14.

Fouls: Central 14, Warsaw 12. Fouled out — Cone.

Officials: Trent Long, Brian Allen, Layne Meeks.

Records: Central 6-15, Warsaw 11-10.

Next: Concord vs. Warsaw 6 p.m. Frdiay in semifinal of Elkhart Class 4A Sectional at North Side Gym.




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