BRUSHY PRAIRIE – Freshman Brady Yoder hit a three-pointer to break a 51-51 tie with about 2 and a half minutes left, and Westview made all 10 of its free throws in the final minute and a half to defeat Prairie Heights 64-57 in a matchup of Class 2A state-ranked Northeast Corner Conference teams Friday night on the Panthers’ home floor.
The 2A fifth-ranked Warriors (16-3, 9-1 NECC) only has Fremont left in conference play on the road on Feb. 25 to gain at least a share of the NECC regular season title. Churubusco is the only other NECC team still with one league loss and will be favored against Garrett, Fairfield and Eastside over the next two weeks. The Eagles won at Hamilton 108-38 Friday night.
“To put ourselves in this position this year with the lack of experience we had coming in speaks volumes about how we have grown and the toughness we have showed,” Westview coach Rob Yoder said.
All-State candidate Charlie Yoder and junior forward Drew Litwiller were the only players back from last season who had significant varsity experience. On Friday, they were two of four Warriors to score in double figures.
Senior Blake Egli scored all 12 of his points on four three-pointers to key Westview’s start. It led 16-8.
Brady Yoder also hit four triples in scoring 14 points. Two of those three-pointers put Westview in front in the fourth quarter.
“When you are that young, you have to go through a few things,” Rob Yoder said. “They experienced a few things and are getting better.”
The Warriors hit 12 three-pointers as a team and had 13 assists on 19 made field goals.
Charlie Yoder had 20 points to up his career total to 1,984 points. He also had eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. Litwiller added 11 points and seven rebounds.
The seventh-ranked Panthers (14-4, 6-2) fought back a couple times during the game, but Westview was better down the stretch. PH tied the Warriors at 16 in the first quarter and rallied from a 39-34 deficit in the third quarter to take a 42-41 lead into the fourth.
Elijah Malone and Mike Perkins each had 19 points for Heights. Freshman Chase Bachelor had 10 points, including three three-pointers in the second half. Malone also had 10 rebounds, but only had four points after halftime.
Brandon Christlieb was hampered by foul trouble and only scored six points for the Panthers. He had two fouls in the first two minutes of the game.
Prairie Heights JV 54,
The Panthers led for most of the game, but scored the final nine points to come back and win. Isaiah Malone scored what turned out to be the game-winning bucket with 18 seconds left.
Logan Hamilton had 13 points and Storm Chaffee scored nine for Prairie Heights. Brandon Lehman led the Warriors with 23 points.
Churubusco 108, Hamilton 38
At Hamilton, Jackson Paul had 25 points, five steals and five assists to lead the Eagles (10-6, 7-1). Gage Kelly added 20 points.
Five Churubusco players scored in double figures. Luke McClure had 16 points, nine rebounds and eight steals. Hunter Perlich and Landen Jordan each had 12 points and seven rebounds. Jordan also had five assists.
The Marines (1-17, 0-9) were coming off their first victory of the season. They won at Smith Academy 54-41 Tuesday in Fort Wayne.