ELKHART – The Concord boys basketball team got its sectional championship Saturday night.
It just came a year later than expected for the Minutemen.
Concord, which was upset a year ago as a heavy sectional favorite, claimed the crown by defeating Goshen 50-45.
The Minutemen used balanced offense and strong free throw shooting down the stretch to prevail in the Class 4-A finale at North Side Gym.
Concord (15-8) advances to play Penn (21-1) or South Bend Riley (14-8) on Saturday, March 15 in the second semifinal game of the Michigan City Regional at approximately 1 p.m. ET. Penn will play Riley Monday night for the sectional title at South Bend Washington. That game was moved due to the Penn girls’ basketball team playing in the Class 4-A state championship game Saturday night in Terre Haute.
The semifinal opener at Michigan City at 11 a.m. ET will pit Lake Central (19-3) versus LaPorte (16-7). The semifinal winners then meet at 8 p.m. ET Saturday evening for the regional title.
The Minutemen, who were upset in the sectional by Warsaw last season to finish 19-2, took care of business this time around. Coach Steve Austin’s squad, after knocking off sectional favorite Northridge in the semifinals Friday night, fought off a strong challenge from the Redskins.
Goshen, which lost 58-37 to Concord in a Northern Lakes Conference game back on Jan. 10, led 15-12 after the opening period. The contest was tied at 19-19 at intermission.
The Minutemen trailed 29-28 late in the third quarter before a key 10-1 run put them in control at 38-30 early into the final frame. Concord then hit free throws, including a clutch 5-6 by Danny McMahon, to seal the title.
Junior Filip Serwatka led the way for the champions with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Senior Ramon Johnson had 12 points, as did junior Brett Austin. The title was also the 12th for Concord coach Steve Austin, who previously had very successful stints at South Bend St. Joseph and Northridge.
Concord shot a fine 16-31 overall from the field and hit 14-19 from the line to claim the program’s 13th sectional title and first since 2011.
Deric Haynes and Jack Gingerich led Goshen, which finishes at 13-10, with 14 points each. Brady Bechtel had 12 for coach Brian Bechtel’s squad, which won nine of its final 11 games.
The Redskins shot 14-36 from the field and were 11-15 from the line.