GOSHEN — Jonathan Wilkinson had an adventurous evening Friday, Jan. 24, and that was before he even began to engage in an overtime high school basketball game at Goshen.
“I got stuck twice in the snow,” Wilkinson said of his drive over to NorthWood to take the bus to Goshen. “I live out in the boondocks, so it was a pretty fun journey for me.”
Good thing for the Panthers he made it.
Wilkinson knifed through the lane for the first points of OT, then put his team up for good at 1:27 remaining with a pair of free throws as Class 3A No. 9 NorthWood survived a gallant upset bid by the Redskins and took home a 53-48 Northern Lakes Conference victory.
“Our whole motto this year has been ‘Relentless,’ so when we face adversity, we go at it,” Wilkinson said after the Panthers improved to 11-1 overall, 3-1 in the NLC. “We got down in the beginning tonight, but we fought back.”
Wilkinson finished with 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while Zach Zurcher led NorthWood with 23 points to go with seven boards. Third senior frontliner Will Stueve chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.
Wilkinson never scored in the third or fourth quarters, before tallying the Panthers’ first four points of OT.
“Not really,” Wilkinson said of whether he realized he hadn’t scored since the first half. “I try to pride myself on being a team player. Zach was open, Will was open some, our guards can shoot. They were on me kind of tight tonight, but I’ll take the open shot if I have it.”
“I thought Jon’s drive in overtime was a big-time play,” NorthWood coach Aaron Wolfe said, “and I thought he did a heck of a job defensively for us in the second half on Deric Haynes. He did a good job staying in front of him in the second half after Haynes had a big first half (10 of his team-high 14 points for the Redskins).”
Goshen (4-8, 0-4) led by as many as 10 points in the opening half and was up 40-35 with 6:45 left in regulation, before being outscored 18-8 by the Panthers the rest of the way.
“NorthWood executed better than us in the fourth quarter and overtime,” Redskin coach Brian Bechtel said. “We had a couple careless turnovers in there and had a free throw block-out that we missed, a lot of little things you can’t do and win close games.”
“Goshen played spirited basketball tonight and we were fortunate to come away with a win,” Wolfe said. “I felt like we were fighting well in the fourth quarter, and even felt like we were somewhat in control with a minute to go, but then Jack Gingerich made a fantastic play (a driving layup with two seconds to go) to send the game into overtime.”
With the Panthers already leading 46-44, Wilkinson nabbed a steal at 25 seconds left in the fourth period, but NorthWood could not convert an ensuing one-and-one at 18 seconds left, setting the stage for Gingerich.
In the OT, Wilkinson’s four points against the Redskins’ two were followed by Zurcher nailing both ends of a double bonus at 32 seconds showing — a possession created by a Panther offensive board — for a 52-48 count. Stueve added one more free throw at 12 seconds left.
Sophomore Cam Kline keyed Goshen to its first-half lead by draining 4-of-4 on 3-pointers for 12 points, but he was only able by rule to play one quarter after that, due to having played three in the JV contest, and never took another shot.
“Cameron’s battled injuries since the first week of practice,” Bechtel said. “Right when we thought he was back from the groin injury, he sprained an ankle and was out two more weeks. He’s been hobbling in practice, but he’s fought. We thought he’d be part of our eight-man rotation by now, and tonight he was finally moving well enough to compete at the varsity level. We are looking for scoring, and he brings a confidence with him to the court. We should see more of him in the future.”
It’s a future Bechtel isn’t discounting despite five straight losses for his club. Those losses have come against teams that are a combined 45-13, and point guard Brady Bechtel, the coach’s son who’s been out the last 10 games due to injury, could be back by next week.
“I don’t ever feel good when we lose, but I feel better that we’re continuing in the right direction,” Brian Bechtel said of coming close against the Panthers. “I thought we hit (bottom two games ago) at Concord and have kind of been on an upswing since then. We’re practicing well, playing better and I think we’re finally playing with a no-fear mentality instead of an afraid-to-lose mentality.”
Austin Woolett scored 12 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds for the Redskins, but the hosts were outrebounded 36-19 overall and outscored 9-0 on second-chance points.
Gingerich had a team-high six assists to go with four points, four rebounds and two steals.
Sophomore Braxton Linville did not score for NorthWood, but dealt a game-high nine assists.
NORTHWOOD 53, GOSHEN 48
NorthWood — Zach Zurcher 9-17 4-5 23, Jonathan Wilkinson 4-10 3-4 13, Will Stueve 4-10 4-8 12, Tanner Farmwald 2-3 0-0 5, Braxton Linville 0-2 0-1 0, Kyle McCoy 0-1 0-0 0, Dakyrion Fox 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 19-45 (.422) 11-18 (.611) 53.
Goshen — Austin Woolett 4-10 4-6 12, Alex Hartsough 0-0 3-4 3, Alex Haney 1-5 1-2 3, Deric Haynes 5-15 1-1 14, Jack Gingerich 2-6 0-2 4, Trevor Weldy 0-0 0-0 0, Cam Kline 4-4 0-0 12, DJ Ambrose 0-0 0-0 0, Isaac Huerta 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-40 (.400) 9-15 (.600) 48.
Scoring By Quarters
NorthWood 7 19 7 13 7 — 53
Goshen 14 14 10 8 2 — 48
3-point goals: NorthWood (4-14) — Wilkinson 2-7, Zurcher 1-2, Farmwald 1-2; Goshen (7-15) — Kline 4-4, Haynes 3-10.
Rebounds: NorthWood (36) — Wilkinson 9, Stueve 8, Zurcher 7, Farmwald 6; Goshen (19) — Woolett 6, Haney 5.
Assists: NorthWood (14) — Linville 9; Goshen (14) — Gingerich 6, Hartsough 3, Haynes 3.
Steals: NorthWood (3) — Zurcher, Wilkinson, Farmwald; Goshen (5) — Gingerich 2.
Turnovers: NorthWood 9, Goshen 8.
Fouls: NorthWood 12, Goshen 17. Fouled out — Haney (1:03, OT).
Officials: Zach Sliwa, Sean Treece, Jeff Ward.
Records: NorthWood 11-1 (3-1 NLC), Goshen 4-8 (0-4 NLC).
Next: Fairfield at NorthWood Monday, Jan. 27; Goshen vs. Memorial Friday, Jan. 31 at North Side Gym.
JV: NorthWood 39, Goshen 28. Top scorers: NorhtWood — Dakyrion Fox 12, David Eshelman 8, Vincent Miranda 6; Goshen — Cam Kline 11, Rummel Johnson 6. JV records: NorthWood 11-1, Goshen 5-7.