McCoy calm at the stripe as NorthWood holds off Concord

Wilkinson nets 21 as Panthers remain in league title chase, move to 14-1 overall and end Minutemen's seven-game win streak.

Posted on Feb. 8, 2014 at 11:49 p.m.

DUNLAP — A battle that wound up as feisty as the Hatfields vs. the McCoys ultimately came down to a player named McCoy.

NorthWood senior Kyle McCoy swished 5-of-6 free throws over the final three minutes as the Panthers held off Concord 59-57 in a pivotal Northern Lakes Conference boys basketball showdown Saturday, Feb. 8, at rocking McCuen Gym.

"I just stepped into the shots, didn’t really feel much pressure," the 5-foot-7 McCoy said. "I do like the situation. I do feel comfortable."

With the win, the Panthers (14-1, 5-1) remained alive for a piece of the NLC title.

They’ll need help, though, from none other than the Minutemen, who had their Senior Night and homecoming each soured by the loss, had their seven-game winning streak snapped and had their chances of repeating as NLC champs extinguished.

Concord (11-4, 4-2) visits league-leading Northridge (14-2, 6-0) while NorthWood welcomes Elkhart Memorial (7-9, 4-2) Thursday, Feb. 13, in the conference finales for all involved.

"Hopefully, they can beat Northridge," McCoy said of the Minutemen, "and we can still share the title. That would be nice."

The Panthers’ triple-threat senior front line came up huge across the board again in their team's latest win. Jonathan Wilkinson poured in a game-high 21 points and dealt four assists; Zach Zurcher added 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocks; and Will Stueve chipped in nine points, nine boards, three steals and two swat-aways.

"They have played well all year," NorthWood coach Aaron Wolfe said, "but that they all played well tonight is special because it was a big game."

The Minutemen were paced by senior Ramon Johnson with 18 points. Junior Filip Serwatka added 16 points and nine rebounds, while Jaylyn Danner came off the bench to score 10 points.

Usual starter Brett Austin did not play due to a sprained ankle suffered a day earlier in practice.

"NLC games are games you can't simulate," Wolfe said of the tension that oozed during the final nine minutes or so, accompanied by some physical play, "and tonight I did appreciate how our guys responded. I do think we took a step forward and improved by being able to not only respond to the intensity of the game, but also the environment."

"Oh yeah," McCoy said of whether it was as intense of a game as he had played in this season. "We knew coming in they'd pack the gym, and knew it was their Senior Night and homecoming. We have friends who go to Concord, so they were telling us all about it."

"It was a good game, but I don't think we played real well offensively and just OK defensively," Concord coach Steve Austin said. "But we played hard. We missed some shots, missed our free throws (going 11-of-19 to the visitors' 15-of-23), and as bad as we played, we still had a chance to win the thing."

The Panthers, who improved to 7-0 away from home, led 31-25 at halftime and stretched their advantage to a high of 43-30 with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter.

The Minutemen, though, came charging back as the majority in a crowd of about 2,800 cheered.

Concord closed to 44-43 with 6:14 remaining on a 13-1 spree fueled by some relentless defensive pressure.

The hosts never could quite draw even, however.

A pair of McCoy freebies for his first points of the evening gave NorthWood a 56-51 lead with exactly three minutes left.

A backcourt steal and slam by Serwatka drew the Minutemen to within 56-54 with 1:21 remaining.

Each team then missed field-goal tries before McCoy hit two more free throws to make it 58-54 with 25 seconds left.

After Concord closed to 58-55, McCoy sank 1-of-2 at the line with 10.4 seconds left for a two-possession margin, before Danny McMahon scored on an offensive rebound at the buzzer for the Minutemen.


NorthWood — Zach Zurcher 8-17 0-2 17, Jonathan Wilkinson 6-11 5-6 21, Will Stueve 3-8 3-5 9, Tanner Farmwald 1-2 1-2 4, Braxton Linville 1-2 1-2 3, Kyle McCoy 0-2 5-6 5. Totals: 19-42 (.452) 15-23 (.652) 59.

Concord — Korey Phillips 1-1 1-4 3, Danny McMahon 3-5 1-2 7, Filip Serwatka 6-9 3-3 16, Adam Glanders 1-6 1-2 3, Ramon Johnson 6-18 5-8 18, Jaylyn Danner 4-5 0-0 10, Jake Kronk 0-1 0-0 0, Matt Wilmore 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 21-46 (.457) 11-19 (.579) 57.

Scoring By Quarters

NorthWood— 12 19 12 16 — 59

Concord — 13 12 12 20 — 57

3-point goals: NorthWood (6-13) — Wilkinson 4-6, Farmwald 1-2, Zurcher 1-3; Concord (3-16) — Danner 2-3, Serwatka 1-4.

Rebounds: NorthWood (27) — Stueve 9, Zurcher 7, Linville 4,; Concord (32) — Serwatka 9, McMahon 7, Phillips 4, Glanders 4, Danner 4.

Assists: NorthWood (15) — Linville 6, Wilkinson 4, McCoy 3; Concord (6) — McMahon 2, Johnson 2.

Steals: NorthWood (6) — Stueve 3, Linville 2; Concord (7) — Glanders 3.

Turnovers: NorthWood — 9, Concord 9.

Total fouls: NorthWood 13, Concord 18. Fouled out — none.

Officials: Zach Sliwa, Jeff Ward, Russ Brown, each of Valparaiso.

Records: NorthWood 14-1 (5-1 NLC), Concord 11-4 (4-2 NLC).

Next: Elkhart Memorial at NorthWood, Concord at Northridge, both Thursday, Feb. 13.

JV: Concord 44, NorthWood 34. Top scorers: Concord — Dylan Troyer 15, Denzel Halliburton 12, Jaequon Boothe-Summers 8; NorthWood — David Eshlelman 9, Vincent Miranda 8, Cam Simpson 7. JV records: Concord 9-6, NorthWood 13-2.


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