ELKHART – The Warsaw boys basketball team bounced back with a much better performance Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, it still wasn’t quite good enough.
Host Elkhart Memorial hit clutch free throws late in the game to hold off Warsaw 59-53 for a Northern Lakes Conference win at North Side Gym.
Warsaw, coming off a 49-25 NLC loss at Concord Tuesday night, drops its fourth straight game. The Tigers drop to 9-7 overall and 2-4 in league play.
The host Crimson Chargers led just 49-47 late in the contest before Dimitri Giger and Michael O’Toole each hit four key free throws for the winners.
Memorial, now 7-9 overall and 4-2 in the NLC, led 20-15 after the opening period and 28-27 at intermission. The Chargers had a 39-34 edge going into the final frame.
Senior Jordan Stookey turned in a strong effort to lead the Tigers. Stookey finished with a game-high 22 points after being held scoreless on Tuesday at Concord.
Tim Swanson netted 12 points for Warsaw. Jake Mangas had eight points and Nate Pearl six.
Warsaw was playing for the third straight game without No. 2 scorer Rashaan Jackson. The athletic, 6-2 junior, along with Nick Sands, was suspended last week for a violation of the school’s athletic code. The suspension, at the time, was said to be for 10 games.
The Chargers hit eight big 3-pointers in the win and also went 15-20 from the free throw line. Memorial also got a big lift from Tra’vion Qualls, who scored 15 points in just his second game after transferring from Elkhart Central.
Maxwell drained five triples en route to 18 points to lead Memorial. Giger finished with 16 for the winners.
Memorial won the junior varsity game by a 39-34 final. Kyle Mangas scored 20 points and Tyler Packard had seven for the Tigers.
Warsaw has four regular-season games left before returning to North Side Gym to defend its sectional crown. The Tigers still host Plymouth (Feb. 13), Elkhart Christian (Feb. 18) and Fort Wayne Luers (Feb. 21) before playing at Fort Wayne Carroll (Feb. 28).
The Tigers host Plymouth and Memorial plays at NorthWood in NLC action on Feb. 13.