Leasure hits 4 treys in 2nd half, but NorthWood routs Valley
Sectional rival outscores Vikings 32-5 in 2nd quarter
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
NAPPANEE –- Not stepping into the lane to take a charging foul.
Not diving on the floor for a loose ball.
The Tippecanoe Valley boys basketball team’s 76-39 loss to NorthWood at the Panther Pit Wednesday could be summed up partly by what they did do, but perhaps coach Chad Patrick was more inclined to sum it up by what they didn’t.
Paul Leasure scored all of his team-high 14 points in the second half, and Dawson Perkins added 11, but NorthWood rolled thanks to a 24-0 second-quarter run that bumped a 13-8 lead to 37-8.
Valley trailed 41-13 after a Nolan Cumberland 3-point play, but NorthWood finished the half on another 7-0 run on an Ian Raasch pullup banker, a Caden Graham 3-pointer and a steal of the inbounds pass and basket at the buzzer by Cooper Wiens.
That capped a 32-5 quarter and gave NorthWood a 35-point halftime lead. Valley committed 24 turnovers, including 11 in the second quarter.
“We just acted like we were scared,” Patrick said. “And we didn’t play very strong. And we didn’t play very hard. And there was no effort whatsoever on our part. We didn’t attempt to take a charge tonight. We didn’t get on the floor once. No loose balls.
“Rebounding, they didn’t get many rebounds because they made every basket. I just thought we got outhustled and outplayed the whole first half.”
Caden Brenner scored 24 points to lead NorthWood, who broke a five-game losing streak and improved to 10-8. Raasch, a 6-5 swingman who can play both inside and on the perimeter, added 14, Brock Bontrager had 11, and Wiens had 10.
Brenner, Raasch and Bontrager are all sophomores.
Valley fell to 6-13. Valley is 1-9 in their last 10 games against NorthWood.
“We played a little better to start the third quarter, and then the third quarter outscored them by two and played better, but you can’t compete with teams like this without playing hard,” Patrick said.
Patrick said the team had not practiced since its 53-17 win over North Miami five days earlier. The NorthWood game was scheduled for Tuesday but postponed 24 hours due to snow. Valley had not been in school since Friday either.
“We haven’t practiced since Thursday,” Patrick said. “We had a game Friday, we shot around Saturday, and then snow days. But that’s no excuse for lack of effort. And I just thought it was complete lack of effort tonight.”
NorthWood’s offense resembles three players on the strong side of the court forming a triangle and the other two players on the weak side cutting and screening. Certain aspects of it resemble concepts of the motion offense.
“It’s a little bit like our ‘wheel’ only they have one cutter and they just run a great motion out of it, and they’re smart players and they read it so well,” Patrick said. “And if you’re not help side and you’re not playing good man-to-man defense, they’re going to torch you just like they did tonight. And our defense was horrible. We were not help side. All the things we’ve worked on and done well in the four games we won, we didn’t do any of them right tonight.”
Patrick also said NorthWood’s offense involves a lot of passing while Valley’s offense involved a lot of “dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble.”
“Against good teams, when you dribble that much, you can’t score,” Patrick said. “Second half, I thought we did a better job of moving the ball, passing and cutting, setting our picks. We got a little more focused. We played a little harder. So definitely the third quarter was much better.
“But you can’t dig yourself a 35-point hole and expect to do anything good against a team like this.”
While Valley beat NorthWood in sectional games at Wawasee in 2013 and 2019 and in a holiday tournament game at Rochester in December 2011, they have not beaten NorthWood at the Panther Pit since the 1990-91 season. That includes the 2007 regional final and sectional games in 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2018. Valley also won a holiday tournament game against NorthWood at home in December 2012.
Valley junior forward D.J. Estep remains out due to a coronavirus-related quarantine.
This year’s sectional is at West Noble. The IHSAA draw is at 7 p.m. Sunday.
NorthWood also took the JV game 40-37. Cooper Walls had 13 points and four assists to lead Valley. Braden Shepherd had seven points, and Riley Shepherd had six points.
NorthWood 76, Valley 39
VALLEY (39) (6-13)
Brendyn Stump 0 0-0 0, Paul Leasure 5 0-0 14, Nolan Cumberland 3 2-3 8, Chase Miller 0 0-0 0, Dawson Perkins 3 5-6 11, Cooper Walls 0 0-0 0, Braden Shepherd 0 0-0 0, Landon Walters 0 0-0 0, Rex Kirchenstien 1 0-0 3, Dominick Welk 0 0-0 0, Dylan Neese 0 0-0 0, Kyler Johnson 0 0-0 0, Damion Kohler 0 0-0 0, Riley Shepherd 1 0-0 3
TEAM: 13 7-9 39
NORTHWOOD (76) (10-8)
Cade Brenner 11 0-1 24, Ben Vincent 2 0-0 5, Ian Raasch 6 2-2 14, Cooper Wiens 5 0-010, Brock Bontrager 5 1-1 11, Ethan Wolfe 0 0-0 0, Chaz Yoder 2 0-0 5, NiTareon Tuggle 0 0-0 0, Ethan Evers 0 0-0 0, Neez Smith 1 0-0 2, J.J. Payne 0 0-0 0, Caden Graham 2 0-0 5
TEAM: 34 3-4 76
Three-point field goals:
Valley 6 (Leasure 4, R. Shepherd, Kirchenstien),
NorthWood 5 (Brenner 2, Vincent, Graham, Yoder)
Total fouls: Valley 6, NorthWood 9
Technical foul: NorthWood, administrative, 8:00, first
Turnovers: Valley 24, NorthWood 7
Score by quarters
Valley 8 5 18 8 – 39
NorthWood 16 32 16 12 – 76
JV: NorthWood 40, Valley 37