It was a packed house at Northfield Thursday to watch the varsity girls and boys basketball teams do battle in the Wabash County tourney to see who will play in Friday’s championship games.
As usual in the tourney the teams did not disappoint the fans as they did battle to see who would have a shot at being COUNTY CHAMPS.
Game one matched up the Northfield and Manchester girls. The two teams had met earlier in the year on Dec. 3rd with Manchester winning 61-47.
Manchester would take the early lead and stretch it to 7-1 before the Norse clawed their way back, taking the lead 8-7 on a Sidney Reed bucket and then finishing the quarter on a Reed three to give the Norse an 11-7 lead. The Norse, playing with Kylie Echard in the middle were playing much taller and surprising the Squires with their new look.
Northfield would hold a three point lead most of the second quarter until Meika Kennedy drained a three to give the Squires their first lead since their first bucket of the game. Manchester held a one point lead until freshman Arie Kennedy converted a three point play to give Northfield a 29-27 halftime lead.
The third quarter was a low scoring affair, with Manchester out scoring Northfield 6-5 and trailed the Norse 34-33 after three.
With the Norse still learning to win and Manchester being a veteran team, the Lady Squires calmly gained their composure, taking the lead for good at 38-36 and went on to win 49-44.
Manchester was led by Hannah Schmidt with 14 points. Kaylee Watson added 10. Sidney Reed led Northfield with 15 points. Kylie Echard had 12 and Sydney Eltzroth 11.
This years format was girl, boy, girl, boy so it was time for the county metro battle between the Northfield and Southwood boys.
No one would expect what was about to happen as the Norse totally dominated the Knights. Northfield, the defending county champs jumped on Southwood early and never looked back.
Dustin Echard got things started for Northfield and then got help from three other players in the quarter to lead Southwood 12-2 after one. After a Connor Hobbs bucket, Northfield finished the quarter on an 8-0 run.
Northfield would double up on the Knights in the second quarter, out scoring Southwood 14-7. Ryan Givens and Chad Glasscock led Northfield with 6 points each. Levi Sutton led Southwood with 3 points on a long ball. Northfield led 26-9 at the half.
Hobbs would hit a three to start the third quarter, but the Norse had it clicking on all cylinders, led by Ryan Keaffaber’s 10 points and 5 players scoring to build the lead to 49-16 heading to the fourth.
Northfield out scored Southwood in the fourth 16-12 for the shocking 65-28 final margin to advance to Friday’s final.
Leading Northfield was Ryan Keaffaber with 17 points. Ryan Givens had 16 and Chad Glasscock 12.
For Southwood Connor Hobbs led with 9 points. Ross Phillipy and Levi Sutton added 5 points each.
Game three was the battle of the brother-in-laws in coaches Brian Bassett and Scott Bumgardner, as the Southwood and Wabash girls teams battled.
The Knights would be relying on their height and a box and one defense on Kelsey Cromer, while the short handed Apaches, playing without Kyleigh Hampton and Sarah Puckett would rely on quickness.
After an opening bucket from Apache Katelin Vogel, the taller Knights started to impose their strength and the back of Ana Marie Farlow and the Knights led 6-5 after one. Farlow had 5 of the Knights 6 points and the Southwood defense held Cromer scoreless.
Things started to heat up a little to start the second. After an Emily Murphy bucket, Cromer connected for the first time on a three to tie the score at 8. Katie Stouffer answered before freshman Claire Cromer drained her own three to give Wabash an 11-10 lead. Sarah White hit, followed by another Kelsey Cromer three to put Wabash back up, but the Knights kept coming. The last two buckets of the quarter would come from freshman Jaycie Wright to put the Knights up 19-16 at the half.
The third quarter would be the turning point and deciding quarter of the game as Wabash scored 16 points in the quarter, while holding Southwood to just 3. Vogel and Kalie Obenour got things started, both converting three point plays and then used a 9-0 run to go up 30-21 and end the quarter leading 32-22.
The two seniors, Cromer and Marin Hill would score 13 of Wabash’s 16 points in the fourth quarter to out score the Knights 16-10 for the 48-32 final. Southwood had 5 players score 2 points each in the quarter.
Leading Wabash was Kelsey Cromer with 18 points. Marin Hill added 10.
Leading Southwood was Jaycee Wright, Amy Bowman and Ana Marie Farlow with 6 points each.
The finale of the night was the Wabash and Manchester boys doing battle. The game started with the tale of two runs and caused one team to play catch up the rest of the night.
Manchester would start the game going on an 8-0 run led by two three pointers from Derek Self. Down 8-0 the Apache offense picked up the pace and the pressure, going on a 21-0 run with 6 players scoring, led by Tyler Brewer with 10. Logan Brunn stopped the run with the last bucket of the quarter and Wabash led 21-10.
The pace would stay fast and furious in the second. Manchester cut the lead to 23-19, but the balanced scoring of the Apaches took over with 7 players scoring in the quarter and no one scoring more than 4 points. Brunn led Manchester with 4 and Wabash led 36-22 at the half.
The pace would stay fast coming out of the locker room with the Apaches winning the quarter 19-18. Brewer and Brunn would lead the way with Brewer scoring 8 and Brunn 9 in the quarter. Wabash led 57-40 after three.
Manchester would not let up in the fourth, out scoring Wabash 18-15 but just didn’t have enough time to make a major run to get back in the game. Neil Underwood led the Squires with all 11 of his points in the quarter. Again, Wabash spread the wealth with 5 players scoring. Wabash went on to win 72-58 to earn the right to play in the championship game for the third year in a row.
Leading Wabash was Tyler Brewer with 22 points. Landon Cole and Andrew Adamson had 11 points each.
For Manchester, Logan Brunn had 20 points. Derek Self and Neil Underwood had 11 points each.