Often times a player’s value to a basketball team can be measured on what it does when he is off the court rather than what it accomplishes when he is on the court.
Tuesday night in their season opener at Bethany Christian, the Westview Warriors found out just how valuable senior guard Jordyn Bontrager is to their success. As if they didn’t know that already.
With Bontrager forced to the bench midway through the second quarter after picking up his third foul, the host Bruins sliced what had been a nine-point deficit to just four (26-22) by the halftime break.
Bontrager returned to the floor in the third period and proceeded to score 11 points in the frame to help the visitors extend their cushion to 12 (43-31). The 5-11 senior finished the contest with 27 points as Westview went to post a 65-35 victory.
“Jordan is a smart player, so I wasn’t too concerned with him fouling out in the second half,” said head coach Rob Yoder, who has now guided the Warriors to 11 consecutive season-opening wins over the Bruins. “He gambled a couple of times on defense in the first half and got called for fouls.
“He did play very well when he was out there, however,” Yoder added.
Staying out of foul difficulty as a team will be key to any success the Warriors enjoy early in the season. Due to illness and injury, Yoder only dressed seven players Tuesday night, two of which will mainly see junior varsity time once those afflicted players return in a week or two.
“It will be nice to have our full compliment of players back,” admitted Yoder. “What it does is force the other guys on the floor to make plays because they aren’t coming out.”
Aside from Bontrager, another Warrior who made plays Tuesday night was Judah Zickafoose. The 6-4 forward, who sat out last year, tallied 12 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked four shots in his return outing.
“We’re certainly glad to have him back,” said Yoder of Zickafoose. “He gives us more athleticism on both ends of the court and is another weapon we can use offensively.”
Andrew Yoder, a 6-0 sophomore, tallied 11 points in his varsity debut. Senior Jamar Weaver netted nine markers.
“We’ll have to play better going forward, no question,” stated Yoder, whose Warriors clash with old rival Northridge this Saturday night in Middlebury. “I think we’ll improve as the season goes along, especially once we start getting some of our guys back.”
Abe Thorne scored 14 points and Sol Brenneman put in a dozen to pace coach Jim Buller’s Bruins. Buller is starting his 35th campaign as the Bethany skipper.
Bethany Christian 35
Scoring by quarters
WV 14 12 17 22 -65
BC 10 12 9 4 -35
Jordyn Bontrager 8-20, 6-6, 27; Judah Zickafoose 6-8, 0-0, 12; Jamar Weaver 4-13, 0-0, 9; Tim Miller 0-0, 0-0, 0; Cody Litwiller 2-5, 0-0, 6; Andrew Yoder 5-12, 0-0, 11; Kade Miller 0-0, 0-0, 0; Totals 25-58, 6-6, 65
Three-point shooting 7-23 (Bontrager 3-8, Litwiller 2-5, Weaver 1-8, Yoder 1-2); Rebounds 28 (Zickafoose 11, Bontrager 9); Steals 12 (Bontrager 5, Litwiller 3); Assists 9 (Bontrager 5); Blocked Shots 8 (Zickafoose 4); Turnovers 8; Team Fouls 14 (Fouled Out: None)
Sol Brenneman 6, 0-0, 12; Tristan Clark 0, 0-0, 0; Ryan Duckworth 0, 0-0, 0; Joseph Mumaw 0, 0-0, 0; Abe Thorne 5, 4-5, 14; Ethan Miller 1, 0-0, 3; Joel Gerig 0, 0-0, 0; Ian Bomberger 1, 4-4, 6; Totals 13, 8-9, 35
Three-point field goals 1 (Miller 1); Team Fouls 10 (Fouled Out: None)