Monday, September 1, 2014
Loading...





Panthers push past the pain, earn sectional championship

Zach Zurcher (23 points), Jonathan Wilkinson (21), Will Stueve (18) and Tanner Farmwald (11) lead the attack for NorthWood (21-2).

Posted on March 8, 2014 at 11:56 p.m.

SYRACUSE — Zach Zurcher was not going to let some pain stand between him and a chance to hoist a sectional trophy.

A "game-time decision" by NorthWood coaches before the semifinals on Friday, the senior forward played and helped the Panthers squeeze out a 59-55 win against Tippecanoe Valley.

With more late-night treatment to the left wrist that he tweaked while diving for a loose ball Tuesday, March 4, in a 71-45 victory against Lakeland, Zurcher was ready Saturday, March 8, for the Class 3A Wawasee Sectional final against West Noble.

"Mr. Widner's doing a great job," said Zurcher, referring to NorthWood athletic trainer Paul Widner. "I tried to block it out and play hard."

Zurcher's 23 points and eight rebounds helped the Panthers (21-2) to a 75-61 victory, extending the school record for single-season victories and earning a spot opposite Fort Wayne Dwenger (15-8) in the 10 a.m. semifinal Saturday, March 15, at the Blackford Regional. The second semifinal features Muncie Central (10-11) and Norwell (19-6) with the championship at 8 p.m.

"Zurcher's night was phenomenal," said NorthWood head coach Aaron Wolfe, who saw his senior net six points in the first quarter, seven in the second and eight in the third.

Panthers senior Jonathan Wilkinson tallied 13 of his 21 points in the second half as NorthWood held off a charge by the West Noble Chargers (18-6).

NorthWood led 43-27 in the third quarter and then was up 50-45 early in the fourth quarter before pushing the lead back up to double digits.

"With our relentless attitude, sickness and injuries, we face it head-on and it worked out for us," said Wilkinson, who was also banged up in the Lakeland game while sophomore point guard Braxton Linville missed that game because of illness.

Linville dished out nine assists Saturday in the title clincher.

Senior forward Will Stueve collected 18 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Panthers.

"I felt I could help my team with mismatches down low," said the 6-foot-5 leaper. "I was demanding the ball and scoring in the post.

"This is a senior-led team and we communicate very well."

Wolfe said it was Stueve who set the early tone Saturday.

"His ability to finish around the basket was exceptional," said Wolfe.

Guards Tanner Farmwald and Kyle McCoy are NorthWood's other seniors.

Farmwald had seven of his 11 points in the first half and McCoy gave the Panthers quality reserve minutes.

"All of the seniors have stepped up at different times," said Farmwald. "Defenses are focusing on Zach (Zurcher) and Jon (Wilkinson). If (the rest of us) have openings, we're going to take them."

On a night when Concord also won a sectional championship, Stueve credited the rigors of the Northern Lakes Conference for making the Panthers tournament-ready.

"The NLC is such a tough conference," said Stueve. "We've been in so many close games. We're poised."

NorthWood won its fifth sectional title all-time, including the first since 2011-12 while denying the Chargers a first sectional championship.

West Noble, which lost 71-54 to NorthWood during the regular season, stayed in Saturday's game with a 11 3-pointers, including three each from senior guards Drew Schermerhorn (18 points) and Phil Miller (11).

Junior forward Waylon Richardson wound up with 12 points while junior guard Brandon Moser canned 10.

CLASS 3A WAWASEE SECTIONAL

Championship Game

NORTHWOOD 75, WEST NOBLE 61

West Noble — Waylon Richardson 5-7 1-1 12, Phil Miller 3-5 2-2 11, Brandon Moser 3-6 2-2 10, Drew Schermerhorn 5-17 5-6 18, Brandon Evans 2-7 0-0 6, Kyler Warble 0-2 3-4 3, Landon Stover 0-0 0-0 0, Nik Risser 0-0 0-0 0, Grant Moser 0-0 0-0 0, Larry Nickolson 0-0 0-0 0, Drew Wiley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-44 (.409) 14-17 (.824) 61.

NorthWood — Will Stueve 6-10 6-10 18, Jonathan Wilkinson 8-14 4-4 21, Tanner Farmwald 4-5 2-2 11, Zach Zurcher 9-17 3-3 23, Braxton Linville 0-3 2-2 2, Kyle McCoy 0-0 0-0 0, Cam Simpson 0-0 0-0 0, Trey Bilinski 0-0 0-0 0, Vincent Miranda 0-0 0-0 0, Travis Bear 0-0 0-0 0, Dakyrion Fox 0-0 0-0 0, Chad Sellers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-49 (.551) 17-21 (.810) 75.

Scoring By Quarters

West Noble — 14 13 15 19 — 61

NorthWood — 19 19 12 25 — 75

3-point goals: West Noble (11-21) — Miller 3-4, Schermerhorn 3-6, B. Moser 2-3, Evans 2-6, Richardson 1-1; NorthWood (4-9) — Zurcher 2-3, Wilkinson 1-2, Farmwald 1-2.

Rebounds: West Noble (15) — B. Moser 6; NorthWood (31) — Stueve 10, Zurcher 8, Wilkinson 4, Linvolle 4.

Assists: West Noble (8); NorthWood (18) — Linville 9, Wilkinson 4.

Blocks: West Noble (4) — Miller 4; NorthWood (7) — Stueve 5.

Turnovers: West Noble 9, NorthWood 9.

Total fouls: West Noble 15, NorthWood 14. Fouled out — none.

Officials: Mike DeBoy, Trent Fine, Brett Ratcliffe.

Records: NorthWood 21-2, West Noble 18-6.

Next: NorthWood vs. Fort Wayne Dwenger, 10 a.m., Muncie Central vs. Norwell, following, in semifinals of Class 3A Blackford Regional Saturday, March 15; championship, 8 p.m.




Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Back to top ^