By Taylor Eldridge
Let’s get to the chase: Northwest turns a 2-point lead with five minutes left into a 17-point cushion with a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to pick up a 75-63 win at home on Friday night.
So at 4-1 in the City League, tied with Heights entering winter break, does that make the Grizzlies a City League contender?
Also, the Northwest student section pulls off one of the funnier stunts I have seen in a while.
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Click the jump to find out the answers.
We’ll get to the original question about Northwest later, first I’ll give you a little run-down of how the game played out.
The game started out ugly, with both teams missing probably their first six or seven shots. Finally, Northwest’s Dave Carson scored the game’s first points with 5:17 left – on a banked in jump shot, of course. Neither team really did much in the first quarter, which resulted in a Northwest 13-11 lead. You can pretty much say the same for the second quarter and Kapaun took a 30-27 lead into the break.
This game was brutal at that point, luckily it was not lacking entertainment. I actually was paying more attention to the Northwest student section more than the game in the second quarter. It took me awhile to figure out what they were doing, but I finally realized they were mimicking every move and sound by Kapaun coach Bernie Pearson. Hilarious. I can’t believe nobody has done that before. My favorite was when Pearson jumped out of his seat and yelled, ‘You got to be kidding me’ and sure enough, a second later you have 50 kids doing the same exact thing. Had to be frustrating for Pearson though.
Anyway, the third quarter went by without a major run by either team. At that point, the biggest lead of the game was held by Kapaun at five – 43-38. Things looked to be going down to the wire with Northwest clutching a 54-52 lead with five minutes remaining.
Then something changed. The Grizzlies just had an air of confidence in them. They just looked like they knew they were going to win. Players looked like they had confidence and that’s such a huge step in the right direction for Chris Collins and Gang. Northwest grabbed control of the game with a 12-0 run and outscored Kapaun 21-9 the final five minutes.
Onto my thoughts about both teams.
To answer my previous question about Northwest’s legitimacy, I think it is real. They’re 4-1 right now, but they haven’t played East or Heights. I’m not sure if they can compete against those big dogs yet, but they’re headed in the right direction. Right now I don’t see why Northwest can’t finish in the top three of the City League. And we’re talking about a team that returned everybody from a team that won three games last season. Pretty amazing turnaround.
Craig Nicholson is a solid leader at point guard for Northwest. When they are at their best, the Grizzlies have a spread-out attack. Anyone from Nicholson, Dave Carson, Grant Landenberger, Chris Fox, Spenser Gales, June Johnson and Anthony Collins can score the ball. If Northwest can get two or three of them going, then they are a tough team to stop.
Kapaun is still a work-in-progress in my mind. Of course everyone knows about Dyllon Knox’s talent, but can someone else step up for the Crusaders as a second reliable scorer? They have some nice options in Michael Martin on the perimeter and Michael Reynolds down low, but they combined to shoot 3-of-19 for the night. Kapaun still has some talent and will make some noise in the City League this season. I think they’re a team that could surprise a superior team that is lacking on any given night. They’ll probably pull off a shocker or two in league play would be my prediction.
And finally, onto the box score.
(14) Keaton Lewis4-110-40-18426102
(22) Jeff Knott0-40-00-00011000
(45) Michael Martin1-91-40-03011101
(24) Mesfin Smalls2-50-00-04448000
(30) Michael Reynolds2-100-00-345712112
(23) Dyllon Knox7-131-20-315325234
(32) Trayte Boswell4-73-50-011033101
(21) Bryce Laveist1-60-31-13123101
(5) Zac Rasmussen3-61-10-37022110
(44) Taylor Floyd1-10-03-45123002
(40) Austin Griffith1-20-00-02101102
(10) Devante Washington0-10-01-21000000
(13) Craig Nicholson5-101-310-1421145221
(25) Dave Carson4-81-54-413011012
(14) Grant Landenberger3-60-02-28358013
(12) Chris Fox1-60-04-86044000
(33) Spenser Gales3-60-02-48167110
(35) June Johnson4-90-11-49055200
(11) Brian Beiker0-00-00-00000002
(10) Anthony Collins4-110-02-510112221
(22) Kendrick Miller0-10-00-00112010