Break can’t slow Panthers
TOPEKA — Even the cool-down period couldn’t cool down suddenly hot NorthWood.
The Panthers, after struggling much of the first half, outscored Westview 7-0 over the final two and a half minutes of the second quarter for a 23-22 lead. And then following the break, they came right back and drilled in seven of their first eight field goal tries during the third period on their way to a double-digit lead, and ultimately a 64-52 boys high school basketball road win Thursday, Dec. 12.
Birthday boy Zach Zurcher led a balanced attack for NorthWood (3-0) with 15 points, 12 of those after the break, to go with four steals.
Fellow seniors Jonathan Wilkinson, Will Stueve and Kyle McCoy added 14, 12 and 10 points, respectively, while sophomore Braxton Linville tallied eight points and dealt a game-high seven assists.
“I felt with how we played in the first half, we were fortunate to be ahead,” Panther coach Aaron Wolfe said, “but also felt if we could finish some plays we didn’t in the first half, we could make a game of it. It just so happens when we made some shots, they missed some, and that gave us some separation.”
The Warriors (2-2) fell despite a sparkling showing by senior guard Jordyn Bontrager with 25 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
“Our shot selection wasn’t very good in some of the key moments of the game,” Westview coach Rob Yoder said. “We got in a hurry and took some tough, contested shots. I think we had four jump shots blocked, and if they block four jump shots, you’re not open.”