Northridge-Goshen FINAL

When lead scorer Nate Ritchie got in foul trouble early in the game, a pair of seniors stepped up to carry Northridge forward.
Posted on March 2, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on March 2, 2013 at 12:41 a.m.

ELKHART — The moment the referee blew his whistle and pointed to Nate Ritchie, Northridge could have been in serious trouble.

Ritchie, who averages a team-high 19.1 points per game, had just drawn his second foul early in the first quarter and was on his way to the bench.

Two months ago, it would have been the end for a Northridge team riding a seven-game losing streak. Against Goshen in a sectional semifinal Friday, March 1, it just meant another senior had to step up.

Enter Joey Ganyard.

He isn't the team's typical go-to guy, averaging 6.7 points per game. At 6-foot-1, Ganyard also couldn't make up for Ritchie's 6-7 physical presence.

But the Raider senior relentlessly parted the Goshen defense like the Red Sea, scoring 13 of his season-high 16 points in the first half. Ganyard only missed one of his seven shots in the first half to lead Northridge (10-11) to a surprising 62-46 win over Goshen (14-8). “Joey is a kid who has improved so much over this past year,” Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas said. “I think his free-throw percentage has more than doubled this past year. Especially when Nate got some in foul trouble and we had some trouble getting in a rhythm. That had been kind of our Achilles' heel on our losing streak. When Nate couldn't score, we had no one else to step up.”

Ganyard said he never consciously decided he needed to fill in the void left by Ritchie.

“It seemed like they were really playing close to the shooters so it opened up lanes,” he said. “I wasn't trying to force it, but I was trying to take it when it was open.”

Ganyard experienced his own foul trouble, committing his fifth early in the fourth quarter. Once Ganyard dropped out of the game, another senior picked up the flag and charged forward.

Austin Moniot had a relatively quiet game up until the final quarter with four points, which is what he usually averages.

Moniot's 3-point play put Northridge up by 20 points early in the fourth. When Goshen started to close the gap and foul to stop the clock, the senior didn't even blink.

He nailed all nine of his fourth-quarter free throws to finish with 15 points. On defense, the 6-foot Moniot was called on to guard Goshen standout Sam Stegelmann.

Stegelmann, who scored 11 points in the first half, only scored once in the second half — one free throw.

“It's a tough sectional and teams that play the best defense and rebound win the game,” Goshen coach Brian Bechtel said. “And that's what happened tonight.”

Northridge will face Warsaw (12-10) in Saturday's Elkhart Sectional title game for a shot at its first sectional championship since 2004.

Northridge 62, Goshen 46

Northridge — Pete Smith 1-3 4-4 6, Sam Ahonen 0-2 5-8 5, Austin Moniot 3-6 9-9 15, Joey Ganyard 7-10 2-2 16, Nate Ritchie 3-7 3-4 9, Tom Morrison 2-3 3-4 8, Christian Bach 0-0 0-0 0, Arick Doberenz 1-1 1-2 3, Kurtis Hochstetler 0-0 0-0 0, Mike Presnell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-33 (.515) 27-33 (.818) 62.

Goshen — Austin Henke 1-10 0-0 3, Sam Stegelmann 4-5 3-4 12, Brady Bechtel 1-3 6-8 9, Jack Gingerich 0-1 2-2 2, Cristian Barron 0-0 0-0 0, Jesse Good 3-8 5-7 12, Deric Haynes 2-5 0-0 4, Alex Hartsough 0-1 0-0 0, David Ambrose 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Haney 0-1 0-0 0, Trevor Weldy 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Woolett 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 13-39 (.333) 16-21 (.762) 46.

Scoring By Quarters

Northridge 11 14 9 28 — 62

Goshen 7 12 0 27 — 46

3-point goals: Northridge (1-4) — Morrison; Goshen (4-21) — Henke, Stegelmann, Bechtel, Good.

Rebounds: Northridge (27) — Ritchie 8, Moniot 7; Goshen (18) — Haynes 5.

Assists: Northridge (12) — Ahonen 6; Goshen (11) — Henke 4.

Steals: Northridge (2) — Smith, Moniot; Goshen (2) — Bechtel 2.

Turnovers: Northridge 14, Goshen 10.

Fouls: Northridge 23, Goshen 24. Fouled out — Ganyard, Ahonen, Stegelmann, Good.

Officials: Trent Long, Brian Allen, Layne Meeks.

Records: Northridge 10-11; Goshen 14-8.

Next: Warsaw vs. Northridge, Saturday, March 2, in Class 4A Elkhart Sectional championship at North Side Gym, 7:30 p.m.

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