Westview had history on its side Saturday against Adams Central in the semifinals of the North Judson regional.
In four previous trips to the Starke County school, the Warriors had vanquished each of their semifinal foes to earn a spot in the championship game.
Make it five.
Thanks to a 20-point effort by Adrian Brandenberger and clutch baskets by Kyle Miller, Brant Yoder and Judah Zickafoose in overtime, Westview held off the Flying Jets, 51-49 to advance to the finals once again.
“This is the type of game we expected and we feel fortunate to win,” said Warrior chief Rob Yoder. “Adams Central is an excellent team and to hold them to 49 points speaks very well of the defense our kids played.”
In the waning moments of the fourth quarter, Westview’s semifinal streak appeared to be in great jeopardy. A basket by Ben Snider and two free throws by Maverick Baumer lifted Adams Central to a 39-35 lead with 3:31 to play.
But Brandenberger answered quickly with a three-point play to carve the difference to one. Then, with 26 seconds remaining, the 6-2 senior swished one of two free throw tries to knot the count at 41-all.
Adams Central had a chance to win the contest in regulation time, but Baumer’s 10-foot baseline jumper in the lane rimmed off.
The two clubs split the opening two field goals of the extra session. Miller then hit a half-hook shot from the lane – his only basket of the game – to give Westview the lead for good, 45-43 with 2:08 left.
“Kyle had been struggling with his shot throughout the game, but he hit a big one there,” Yoder said of Miller’s deuce.
After the Jets were whistled for a travel, Yoder upped the Warrior edge to five (48-43) when he drained a trey from the wing. A three by Dalton Combs sliced the margin back to two, but Zickafoose came through with his fifth field goal of the tilt, restoring the Warrior lead back to four (50-46) with 42 seconds remaining.
But Adams Central wasn’t done. Baumer connected for a triple from the wing with 37 seconds on the clock to close the gap to within one. And when Zickafoose missed a pair of charity tosses with 22 seconds to play, the Jets had a final chance to take the lead.
Adams Central worked the ball into Baumer, but the 6-6 senior’s turn-around shot in the lane glanced off the front of the iron. Zickafoose grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 2.2 ticks left. The 6-3 sophomore hit the first of two free throw tries to account for the final margin.
Yoder and Zickafoose followed Brandenberger on the Warrior scorecard with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Pacing Adams Central with 15 points was Combs. Snider finished with 11 for the Jets, who bow out with a 19-4 record.
Bowman Academy romped past Hebron, 81-63 in the other semifinal game.
Adams Central 49 (OT)
Scoring by quarters
AC 2 15 9 15 8 -49
WV 4 10 15 12 10 -51
Alex Byerly 0, 0-0, 0; Keaton Fiechter 1, 1-1, 3; Dalton Combs 6, 0-0, 15; Isaac Luginbill 3, 1-2, 9; Spencer Sharp 0, 0-0, 0; Hayden Black 0, 0-0, 0; Maverick Baumer 2, 3-3, 8; Pierce Harris 0, 0-0, 0; Kyle Fawcett 0, 3-4, 3; Ben Snider 5, 1-1, 11; Totals 17, 9-11, 49
Three-point field goals 6 (Combs 3, Luginbill 2, Baumer 1); Team Fouls 12 (Fouled Out: None)
Jordyn Bontrager 0, 0-0, 0; Jerry Schwartz 0, 0-0, 0; Judah Zickafoose 5, 1-4, 11; Brant Yoder 4, 3-3, 12; Adrian Brandenberger 9, 2-3, 20; Chandler Aspy 0, 0-0, 0; Kyle Miller 1, 0-0, 2; Nic Raber 1, 0-0, 2; Nate Raber 2, 0-0, 4; Devin Aspy 0, 0-0, 0; Totals 22, 6-10, 51
Three-point field goals 1 (Yoder 1); Team Fouls 11 (Fouled Out: None)