MISHAWAKA — Jordan Geist may have missed enough to help keep it interesting, but still ultimately made enough, and did enough other things, to help the host Kingsmen grab the victory during a feisty showdown of unbeatens in NIC/NLC Shootout boys basketball play Saturday, Dec. 28, at the Penn Palace.
The Kingsmen’s 68-65 win over Northridge wasn’t secured until Pete Smith’s solid-look 3-pointer from the left wing bounced off the iron as time expired.
Class 4A No. 6-rated Penn improved to 7-0 and moved to within two wins of matching the best start in school history, while the Raiders dropped to 7-1 on a night they were trying to match the second-best start in school history.
“I thought both teams competed very hard, and I think Northridge’s team has come a long way in a year,” Kingsmen coach Al Rhodes said of the Raiders, who were 10-12 last winter. “It’s basically the same (personnel) we played last year.”
Earlier Saturday, South Bend St. Joseph rolled to a 77-53 win over Goshen. The Indians moved to 3-2, while the Redskins dropped to 4-5.
Geist, typically an 80 percent shooter, according to Rhodes, was 5-of-9 at the line over the final 1:08 as Northridge repeatedly fouled him while playing catch-up, but his adventures also included him battling for the rebound on one of his own misses and going 2-of-2 on the ensuing trip, and hitting the free throw at 5.9 seconds that forced the Raiders to close by attempting a 3-pointer. He also dealt a game-high five assists.
Nate Ritchie, coming off a career-high 40 points a night earlier, scored a game-high 24 for Northridge.