MIDDLEBURY — On a night where both Northridge and Wawasee were in prep mode for the IHSAA state tournament, a pair of Raider seniors wanted one more hurrah in front of the home folks.
Twin sisters Haley and Madison Schrock combined for 29 points in their final home game as Northridge cruised to a 59-34 win over Wawasee in the final regular season girls basketball game for both clubs.
Haley Schrock had 17 of those points, hitting three of seven three-point attempts in the process while sister Madison ended with 12 points and three assists, all of her points occurring behind the three-point arc. The twins are the only two seniors on a Northridge squad that is now 18-4 overall and finishes 5-2 in the Northern Lakes Conference. The Raiders drew a bye in the 4A Sectional No. 4 at Concord, waiting on the winner of Goshen versus Elkhart Central.
Junior Morgan Miller added 16 points and nine rebounds for Northridge while sophomore Taylor Miller had 10 points, scoring on several occasions on back cuts uncovered by Wawasee. The dashes by the Millers, along with several Raiders throughout the lopsided ballgame, was one of the talking points with Warrior head coach Kem Zolman following the game.
“I guarantee Tuesday’s game won’t be near as physical as this one, it will resemble a little more like basketball,” Zolman said. “You’ll see more fluid play. We just have to go away from here and just forget it. That’s just how it is got to be. They will be taller than us, more athletic than us, but that is what the state tournament is all about. You just never know.”
Wawasee had a double-double from senior KiLee Knafel, scoring 19 points and pulling down 10 rebounds and freshman Kylee Rostochak netted 10 points. Wawasee were never closer than 10 points in the second half after Northridge scored the first six points to take a 33-18 lead and held Wawasee (10-10, 1-6 NLC) to just five points through the first seven minutes of the third quarter.
Zolman’s notes on the ease in which Northridge scored throughout the game resembled the same manner in which NorthWood scored in a blowout win at Wawasee in early January. With post player Morgan Olson scoring over 20 points per game this season, defending the lane could determine Wawasee’s fate as NorthWood and Wawasee meet in the first game of the 3A Sectional No. 21 at NorthWood Tuesday night.
“That was more disappointing than anything else tonight was not paying attention on defense,” Zolman said. “We knew those screens were coming, we just didn’t react. Come Tuesday, we know who we have to react to, will we do it, I just don’t know. It will come down to rebounds. We haven’t rebounded well. If we want a chance to beat NorthWood, we really have to take care of the ball and rebound well. Plain and simple.”
Tuesday’s 6 p.m. sectional game between Wawasee and NorthWood will be the ninth time in the past 10 years that the two teams have faced each other. NorthWood (19-3) have won 22 sectional titles in its history and six in the past nine years. The remaining three titles have gone to Wawasee, which have won 13 sectional titles in its history.
Tuesday’s winner will take on Fairfield in Friday’s first semi-final while Tuesday’s second game, West Noble versus Tippecanoe Valley, will produce Lakeland’s opponent in Friday’s second game. The championship game is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening.