TOPEKA — It’s not typical for one high school player to wind up with 29 points and the opposition to wind up delighted with its defense against him, but that’s how good Westview’s Charlie Yoder is, and how good NorthWood’s defense was.

With senior Trent Edwards and sophomore Cooper Weins taking effective turns against Yoder on the outside and the rest of their well-positioned teammates quick to help inside, the Panthers knocked off the host Warriors 66-53 in boys basketball Thursday night.

“It was tiring, I will say that,” Edwards said of shadowing Westview’s senior star. “He’s a great player, a really good shooter. It was hard to play both offense and then have to chase and be so aware on defense. He’s a great rebounder, too, so that aspect comes into play, too.”

Even with those aspects, Edwards still found time to lead a deep and balanced NorthWood attack at 15 points to go with six rebounds and a co-game-high five assists.

Ben Vincent added 10 points, Jamarr Jackson nine, Weins and Josh Stratford eight apiece, and freshman Ian Raasch seven. Brock Flickinger contributed five points and five assists against no turnovers.

The Panthers (4-1) led from the opening basket on, including 7-0 out of the gate, 15-5 through one quarter, by double digits most of the way and by a high of 51-31 a minute into the fourth period.

Yoder, averaging 30.3 points, poured in 13 of his 29 over the final 6:49.

The 6-foot-4 lefty also paced the Warriors (1-2) in rebounds and assists at seven and five. He converted 16-of-18 free throws, but finished just 3-of-11 on 3-pointers and 2-of-7 on 2s.

NorthWood coach Aaron Wolfe praised Edwards and Weins in particular for that, but credited his team’s collective effort as well.

“Charlie Yoder’s a hands-down Indiana All-Star and Mr. Basketball candidate, so he’s going to score, but you’re just trying to make sure he doesn’t get a lot of easy opportunities,” Wolfe said. “If he’s getting baskets on his first or second touch, I think that’s difficult on our team, but when he’s having to make multiple moves and catch the ball multiple times in the half-court, I think our guys are doing a pretty consistent job of being there and contesting shots.”

The Panthers hit 52% from the field, including five 3-pointers, while limiting the hosts to 32%.

NorthWood bashed Westview on the boards as well, closing with a 39-22 advantage.

“They were tough, had a lot of grit to the way they played,” Warrior coach Rob Yoder said, “and we didn’t perform great for sure.”

All four grades were represented among the eight players the Panthers featured.

“Over the summer, we played a lot together,” Edwards said of achieving harmony among the classes. “A couple (college) camps and stuff like that. Team bonding was a huge role.”

Edwards especially mentioned the team’s Panther Hysteria event, a scrimmage right before the season that’s traditionally followed by staying up all night talking and playing games.

“I think our strength this year is probably our unity, and our balance,” Wolfe said. “Not only scoring, but in all three phases – offense, defense and rebounding – I think we’re a basketball team that’s growing. I think there’s room for improvement, but it’s a very fun group to coach.”

Westview’s group, meanwhile, includes just Charlie Yoder remaining among the top four players on last season’s 25-6, regional-finalist club.

Yoder owns 56 percent of his team’s points this season at 91 of 162, though senior guard Blake Egli did net 16 Thursday with 4-of-8 marksmanship outside the arc.

“If we would make shots just a little bit better when people give that much help,” Rob Yoder said of the defensive focus NorthWood placed on his son, “I think we would be really hard to defend. I believe we’re going to, but we just have young guys who haven’t been in that situation yet, haven’t done it yet.”



NORTHWOOD: Jason Borkholder 1-2 0-2 2, Trent Edwards 6-15 3-5 15, Jamarr Jackson 4-7 1-3 9, Ben Vincent 4-8 0-1 10, Brock Flickinger 1-4 2-5, Cooper Weins 3-5 0-0 8, Josh Stratford 3-3 2-2 8, Ian Rausch 3-4 1-4 7, Cade Brenner 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 26-50 (.520) 9-19 (.474) 66.

WESTVIEW: Charlie Yoder 5-18 16-18 29, Drew Litwiller 1-6 0-0 2, Mason Yoder 0-0 0-0 0, Ben Byrkett 1-3 0-0 2, Blake Egli 5-10 2-2 16, Lyndon Miller 2-4 0-0 4, Brady Yoder 0-3 0-0 0, Caleb Cory 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-44 (.318) 18-20 (.900) 53.



3-point goals: NorthWood (5-14) – Weins 2-4, Vincent 2-5, Flickinger 1-3; Westview (7-29) — Egli 4-8, C. Yoder 3-11. Rebounds: NorthWood (39) — Borkholder 7, Edwards 6. Westview (22) — C. Yoder 7. Assists: NorthWood (16) — Edwards 5, Flickinger 5; Westview (9) — C. Yoder 5, Litwiller 3. Steals: NorthWood (5) — Weins 2; Westview (5) — Miller 3. Total fouls: NorthWood 15, Westview 17. Fouled out — Miller (4:49, 4th quarter), Weins (1:09, 4th). Turnovers: NorthWood 8, Westview 9. Records: NorthWood 4-1, Westview 1-2.

Next: Fairfield at NorthWood, Saturday.

JV: NorthWood 51, Westview 24. Top scorers: NorthWood — Cade Brenner 9, JJ Payne 9. JV records: NorthWood 3-0, Westview 1-2.


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