Saturday, November 1, 2014


Northridge senior Grant Legault, top, leaps from the bleachers as he and the rest of the student section cheer on their Raiders at the Elkhart Sectional championship game against Warsaw Saturday, March 2, 2013 at North Side Gym. The Raiders lost to the Tigers 64-57. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

Northridge senior Michael Eash leads the student body cheer block in a cheer during a timeout at the Elkhart Sectional championship game against Warsaw Saturday, March 2, 2013 at North Side Gym. The Raiders lost to the Tigers 64-57. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

Northridge’s Nate Ritchie (40) shoots over Warsaw defender Nate Pearl (20) during sectional championship action at North Side Gym Saturday, March 2, 2013. The Tigers claimed the title defeating the Raiders 64-57 to advance to Regionals. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

Northridge senior Joey Ganyard (32) floats to the hoop past Warsaw’s defenders during sectional championship action at North Side Gym Saturday, March 2, 2013. The Tigers claimed the title defeating the Raiders 64-57 to advance to Regionals. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

Northridge senior Joey Ganyard (32) gets tied up by Warsaw’s Rashaan Jackson (40) during sectional championship action at North Side Gym Saturday, March 2, 2013. The Tigers claimed the title defeating the Raiders 64-57 to advance to Regionals. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

Northridge’s Sam Ahonen (14) tries to keep his balance as he and Warsaw’s Jordan Stookey (35) scramble for a loose ball during sectional championship action at North Side Gym Saturday, March 2, 2013. The Tigers claimed the title defeating the Raiders 64-57 to advance to Regionals. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

Northridge’s Nate Ritchie (40) and Austin Moniot (30) are given a consoling pat on the back as they leave the court with teammates following the sectional championship game at North Side Gym Saturday, March 2, 2013. Warsaw defeated the Raiders 64-57 to advance to Regionals. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)

Northridge’s Nate Ritchie (40) and Sam Ahonen (14) battle with Warsaw’s Jason Ferguson (21) for a rebound late in the game during sectional championship action at North Side Gym Saturday, March 2, 2013. The Tigers claimed the title defeating the Raiders 64-57 to advance to Regionals. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)
With Bloom, Warsaw blossoms into champion
Posted on March 2, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Warsaw looked as curiously fresh as a flower in bloom — especially Jared Bloom.

The senior guard proved virtually unstoppable to the Northridge defense, scoring 33 points as the Tigers captured the Class 4A Elkhart Sectional boys basketball title with a 64-57 victory over the Raiders in the Saturday, March 2, final at North Side Gym.

Warsaw had narrowly escaped Central 45-44 in double overtime on Tuesday, then narrowly escaped heavily favored Concord 43-41 in triple OT on Friday, yet the Tigers appeared increasingly crisp as Saturday’s championship proceeded into the second half.

“You know, you can’t survive both those first two games and then not win the sectional,” Bloom reasoned. “I think (the freshness) comes from within. We just wanted it so bad. And for me, it’s something I’ve dreamt about my whole high school career. Every day I was in the gym working hard, I was thinking of a sectional championship. That’s all I cared about.”

“We didn’t have an answer for Jared Bloom,” Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas said of the 6-footer who went 9-of-12 from the field with three 3-pointers and 12-of-14 at the line. “Thirty-three points. And we couldn’t trap him, because he found the open man.”

The Tigers (13-10) advanced to a Michigan City Regional semifinal next Saturday against South Bend Adams (21-2).

Northridge (10-12), which had eliminated a 14-win Goshen club 62-46 in Friday’s semifinals for its sixth victory in eight games, was paced by junior Nate Ritchie with 21 points and six rebounds. Senior Joey Ganyard added 13 points and sophomore Pete Smith 11.