A packed gym, bodies flying, game-tying three pointers, clutch free throw shooting.
Saturday’s varsity boys basketball battle between ancient rivals Northridge and Westview had all of those and more, making the clash feel like it was being played in March than late November.
Fortunately for the host Warriors, they were able to make enough plays to gut out an 81-73 triple-overtime triumph over the Raiders.
“The fans got their money’s worth tonight,” said a drained Westview head coach Rob Yoder after the contest. “Both teams made a lot of plays and competed very well. We just made a few more plays than they did.”
Westview appeared to be on its way to a comfortable win early in the fourth quarter when Jordyn Bontrager’s spinning layup put the hosts up by 10 (52-42). But eight straight Northridge points, the last two of which came on a shot by Sam Ahonen, cut the spread to a deuce (52-50) with 1:18 left on the clock.
Jamar Weaver stepped to the line with 27 seconds remaining with a chance to extend the Warrior lead to four. However, he could only hit one of the two charity tosses, leaving the Raiders a triple shy of a tie. After a couple of misses, the ball found its way into the hands of Austin Moniot, who drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the tilt into overtime.
“We didn’t finish the last five minutes of regulation very well,” Yoder admitted. “This is still a team with a lot of work ahead of it. We’re not perfect by any means.”
Kyle Miller, who led Westview in scoring with 28 points, hit a pair of free throws with 1:09 left in the first extra frame to knot the score at 58-58. The Raiders ran down the clock to set up a potential winning shot, but Ahonen’s three rimmed out.
In the second overtime, the Warriors grabbed a 66-63 advantage with 28 seconds left on two charity tosses by Bontrager. But 14 ticks later, Pete Smith drained a triple from the right-wing to force a third extra stanza.
Westview took control of the final overtime session by scoring the first eight points – four each by Miller and Chandler Aspy. Northridge wouldn’t get any closer than five the rest of the way.
“This is a very good win for us,” said Yoder. “Northridge is a really good team.”
Following Miller on the Warrior scoring column with 18 points was Nic Raber. Aspy finished with 16 and Bontrager had 10.
Ahonen led a quartet of Raiders in double figures with 18 markers. Nate Ritchie had 14, Smith 13 and Arick Doberenz 11.
Northridge 73 (3 OT)
Scoring by quarters
NR 20 6 19 13 5 8 7 -73
WV 17 12 14 5 5 8 15 -81
Pete Smith 5, 0-0, 13; Sam Ahonen 9, 0-0, 18; Arick Doberenz 5, 0-0, 11; Austin Moniot 2, 0-0, 6; Joey Ganyard 3, 3-4, 9; Tom Morrison 1, 0-0, 2; Nate Ritchie 5, 4-6, 14; Shannon Baker 0, 0-0, 0; Totals 30, 7-10, 73
Three-point field goals 6 (Smith 3, Moniot 2, Doberenz 1); Team Fouls 18 (Fouled Out: Ganyard)
Jordyn Bontrager 3-8, 4-4, 10; Jamar Weaver 3-5, 1-2, 9; Brett Yoder 0-0, 0-0, 0; Damon Hershberger 0-0, 0-0, 0; Chandler Aspy 7-9, 2-4, 16; Nic Raber 4-7, 10-12, 18; Kyle Miller 10-16, 4-4, 28; Totals 27-51, 21-26, 81
Three-point shooting 6-13 (Miller 4-6, Weaver 2-3, Bontrager 0-2, Yoder 0-2); Rebounds 22 (Raber 8, Bontrager 6); Steals 7 (Weaver 2, Aspy 2); Assists 17 (Bontrager 8); Team Fouls 10 (Fouled Out: None)
Westview dunked Prairie Heights, 51-13 in junior varsity girls basketball last Friday night in Emma.
Kaitlyn Warren scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds to pace the Lady Warriors. Erika Gamble added 11 points and six steals, Riley Hochstetler nine points and four steals, and Steph Mowery eight points, six steals and four assists.