ELKHART — Al Rhodes admits he has to remind himself at times that Noah Applegate is just a 10th-grader. Of course, the Penn coach loves it once he remembers. It means his smooth, 6-foot-6 lefty has another two-plus seasons of high school basketball remaining.
Applegate scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as Penn held on for a 47-38 road victory over Concord on Friday night at McCuen Gym.
His performance down the stretch suggested that his basketball conditioning, delayed by his role as a receiver on the Kingsmen's semistate football team, is proceeding just fine, thank you.
"I never stopped practicing basketball even when I was playing football," Applegate said, "so I never really lost my shot, but I was a bit out of basketball shape, so every time out on the court is going to help."
Applegate scored all but two of Penn's fourth-quarter points as his team improved to 2-2.
"He's still got a lot to learn as a player, but he's a very effective, natural scorer," Rhodes said. "He's a decent defender and defensive rebounder. He did get two fouls tonight that were unnecessary, to sit him on the bench for a while, but he's a sophomore. Sometimes, it's easy to forget that."
The Kingsmen led 33-18 midway through the third quarter, but the Minutemen charged back into the game in the fourth period, getting as close as 37-32 with 2:28 to go, then getting that close twice more.
They had a chance to get closer with 46 seconds left, but missed the front end of a one-and-one — their only missed free throw in 12 attempts all evening.
Concord (2-3) was coming off a 66-30 beatdown at the hands of Carroll, their second doubled-up loss of the season, but got back on course in this one, according to coach Steve Austin.
"If we play with that kind of intensity, we'll be OK," Austin said. "I don't ever want to lose, but we're going in the right direction. I didn't think we competed against (Carroll) or Michigan City, and that I can't stand, but tonight was a good steppingstone. We don't like the result, but we gotta look more at the process than the result at this point."
Denzel Halliburton led the Minutemen with 15 points and five rebounds. Grant Magnuson added nine points, while a cunning Cedric Mitchell grabbed all four of his steals in the final quarter to help key Concord's late surge.
"If we take care of the ball and hit some shots, we're right there," Austin said after his club coughed up 18 turnovers and made just 13-of-34 from the field with one 3-pointer. "We had some great looks tonight, inside and outside, but we're just not hitting."
On the other hand, "we rebounded much better, because we've been getting killed on the boards, and the biggest thing," said Austin, "is we hit our free throws."
The Minutemen had gone an inexplicable 2-of-20 at the line over their previous two games, but hit at that 11-of-12 clip Friday.
For the Kingsmen, Matt McCown netted 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, while point guard Brian Doslak grabbed a game-high seven boards.
"I don't know what our percentage of errors was, but I know it was bad," Rhodes said after his team closed at 15 turnovers, including eight in the fourth quarter. "Fortunately, we got some layups on inbound plays in that fourth quarter. We were in a good attack mode tonight, but we gotta get stronger inside. Defensively, I was pretty happy with our half-court defense."
PENN 47, CONCORD 38
Penn: Noah Applegate 7-14 4-6 20, Connor Schneider 2-4 0-2 4, Matt McCown 5-7 0-1 10, Beau Ludwick 1-4 1-2 4, Brian Doslak 0-2 2-2 2, Luke Carlton 1-1 0-0 3, Noah Krathwohl 1-2 0-0 2, Riley Smith 0-0 2-2 2, Drew Lutz 0-2 0-0 0, Drew Schneider 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 17-37 (.459) 9-15 (.600) 47.
Concord: Grant Magnuson 3-5 3-3 9, Nathan Hermon 0-1 0-0 0, Grant Lucchese 0-0 0-0 0, Denzel Halliburton 5-11 4-4 15, Brandon Emerick 1-5 0-0 2, Michael Johnson 0-4 4-4 4, Cedric Mitchell 3-6 0-0 6, Marvell Danner 0-0 0-1 0, Jaequon Boothe-Summers 1-2 0-0 2, Matt Auger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-34 (.382) 11-12 (.917) 38.
Scoring By Quarters
3-point goals: Penn (4-10) - Applegate 2-4, Carlton 1-1, Ludwick 1-2; Concord (1-11) - Halliburton 1-5.
Rebounds: Penn (22) - Doslak 7, C. Schneider 5; Concord (21) - Halliburton 5, Johnson 4.
Assists: Penn (12) - Lutz 3; Concord (6) - Lucchese 3.
Steals: Penn (7) - McCown 2; Concord (5) - Mitchell 4.
Turnovers: Penn 15; Concord 18.
Fouls: Penn 14; Concord 21. Fouled out - McCown (0:46, 4th quarter), Halliburton (0:20, 4th).
Records: Penn 2-2, Concord 2-3.
Next: Penn vs. Elkhart Memorial Saturday at North Side Gym; SB Riley at Concord Tuesday.
JV score: Penn 32, Concord 25. Top scorers: Penn - Jeffrey Pawlik 11, Cameron Koschnick 8; Concord - Xavier Halliburton 7, Brock Troyer 5. JV records: Penn 1-3, Concord 1-4.