TOPEKA — Jamar Weaver almost couldn’t miss, and Westview needed almost every bit of his near-perfection, as the host Warriors outlasted Concord 76-71 in an overtime boys high school basketball regular-season finale that propelled each team into postseason with positive feelings Friday, Feb. 28.
"It’s an awesome win," Weaver said after going 10-of-12 from the field with four 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 26 points. "We want to be playing our best going into sectionals and playing as a team, which I thought we did tonight. We want to get that sectional championship."
Jordyn Bontrager, Weaver’s fellow senior guard, poured in a game-high 30 points on Senior Night, before fouling out with 1:32 left in OT and his team up 72-69.
Westview, which also got 15 points from junior Chandler Aspy, held on without Bontrager, which was particularly encouraging to coach Rob Yoder, though "we don’t ever want to see him foul out."
The Warriors (17-4) will take a six-game winning streak into their own Class 2A sectional next week.
The Minutemen (12-8) lost for the fifth time in their last six games going into the 4A Elkhart Sectional, but unlike Tuesday’s loss to Mishawaka that coach Steve Austin described as "horrible, ridiculous," this one left the coach reassured.
"It was a good game, and we had our chances, but they shot the ball extremely well," Austin said after Westview made 29-of-46 from the field for 63 percent, including 6-of-11 on 3s. "I thought we played the way we need to play to win the sectional. There’s a couple little things we gotta shore up, but we’ve got two days to do it and I think we can, so I was very pleased with what I saw."
Junior Filip Serwatka led Concord with 20 points and paced all players with eight rebounds and four steals.
Ramon Johnson added 16 points and a game-high eight assists, while fellow senior Adam Glanders netted 15 efficient points, going 5-of-7 from the field and 4-of-4 at the line.
But nobody was as efficient as Weaver from the field. One of his lone two misses was a 30-footer that rimmed around and out off an inbound play with a second left in the third quarter.
Weaver scored 20 of his 26 points after halftime, including five in OT.
"He hit a lot of big shots, and shots off the dribble," Yoder said. "He played very well."
"We told our guys that all of their guys can shoot if you don't challenge their shots," Austin said. "I knew he could shoot, but we left him wide open way too many times and he killed us."
Once Bontrager fouled out, Weaver's ball-handling responsibilities went up, too.
No problem. With the Warriors nursing a 72-71 lead, Weaver drove and dished sharply to Judah Zickafoose for the latter's only bucket of the night and a 74-71 count at 50 seconds remaining in OT.
"It's a little more (pressure) when Jordyn fouls out," Weaver said, "because then they come up and trap you, but I just tried to get down and get to the middle."
After Zickaffoose's score, the Minutemen came up empty on their next two possessions, while Westview added free throws on each of its next two to clinch.
"It's a huge win because it's Concord," Weaver said. "They're good and they beat us almost every year (including each of the previous five years), so to sneak out of here with a win, it's huge."
"I think our kids played really well and really hard," Yoder said. "I know it hurts when you lose, but I give Concord an awful lot of credit for the times they were on the brink of us being able to put them away with a couple minutes to go, but coming back. They're going to be a tough out in their sectional."
The Warriors led 63-57 with 2:39 left in regulation, matching the largest lead of the night by either team, but a Serwatka steal and slam highlighted a 6-0 Minutemen run to even the count at 63, and the teams went to OT at 65-all.
That was one of the whopping 15 ties in the game, to go with an even more staggering 20 lead changes.
While the Minutemen couldn't match Westview's field goal shooting, they were still solid at 47 percent and drained 21-of-23 at the line for 91 percent.
Westview 76, Concord 71 (OT)
Concord — Brett Austin 5-10 0-0 10, Danny McMahon 1-3 4-4 6, Filip Serwatka 7-14 5-7 20, Adam Glanders 5-7 4-4 15, Ramon Johnson 4-13 8-8 16, Jake Kronk 2-3 0-0 4, Korey Phillips 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 24-51 (.471) 21-23 (.913) 71.
Westview — Judah Zickafoose 1-4 0-0 2, Damon Hershberger 0-0 0-0 0, Chandler Aspy 6-11 3-3 15, Jamar Weaver 10-12 2-3 26, Jordyn Bontrager 11-18 6-9 30, Daron Miller 0-0 1-2 1, Brody Jantzi 1-1 0-0 2, Cody Litwiller 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Yoder 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-46 (.630) 12-17 (.706) 76.
Scoring By Quarters
Concord — 16 13 19 17 6 — 71
Westview — 19 11 18 17 11 — 76
3-point goals: Concord (2-6) — Glanders 1-1, Serwatka 1-2; Westview (6-11) — Weaver 4-6, Bontrager 2-5.
Rebounds: Concord (25) — Serwatka 8, McMahon 5; Westview (21) — Zickafoose 6, Weaver 5.
Assists: Concord (13) — Johnson 8; Westview (19) — Aspy 4, Bontrager 4, Weaver 3.
Steals: Concord (8) — Serwatka 4, Johnson 2; Westview (4) —Jantzi 2.
Turnovers: Concord 11, Westview 11.
Total fouls: Concord 16, Westview 15. Fouled out — Bontrager (1:32, ot).
Records: Concord 12-8, Westview 17-4.
Next: Concord vs. Elkhart Memorial in 4A Elkhart Sectional at North Side Gym Tuesday, March 4, 6 p.m.; Westview vs. Central Noble in 2A Westview Sectional Tuesday March 4, approximately 7:30 p.m.
JV: Concord 56, Westview 19. Top scorers: Concord — Jaequon Boothe-Summers 10, David Small 8, Cedric Mitchell 7; Westview — Tim Miller 7, Lincoln McDonald 5. JV record: Concord 12-8.