SYRACUSE – Wawasee’s football team scored more points against West Noble in August (48) than what the girls basketball teams from both schools combined to score in three quarters Tuesday night. Only a fourth quarter surge made for a more respectable final score, 38-28, which West Noble claimed victoriously.
After three quarters of play at the Hardwood Teepee, Wawasee held a slim 20-18 lead that Wawasee head coach Kem Zolman categorized as ‘good defense’ and West Noble skipper Dale Marano deemed ‘poor offensive execution’. In any fashion, West Noble finally figured out the code to scoring in fourth quarter as Wawasee’s defensive chops finally afforded some gaps.
Wawasee led 21-19 with 5:23 to go when West Noble’s Paige Shearer was tended to for an injury. Following the timeout, Shawna Young gave West Noble the lead with a three which began a sudden burst for the next five-plus minutes of the game. The Lady Chargers would go on a 14-3 run to take the game’s biggest lead at 33-24.
West Noble, which had only hit seven field goals in the game up to the Young three, hit four jumpers in the run, leaving Zolman only to stand in bewilderment.
“Every team we play, it seems we leave a shooter open for a second and they knock it down,” Zolman said. “That one big three they hit was all the momentum they needed.”
West Noble also made hay from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, hitting nine of 18 attempts. For the game, the Lady Chargers weren’t spectacular with a 14-of-29 free throw clip, but the freebies totaled half of Wawasee’s total output.
Kenzie Cox and Young both finished with eight points to lead the Lady Chargers, 11 of those 16 points coming in the fourth quarter.
“It was just one of those nights and a bizarre game, someone had to win,” Marano said. “We certainly weren’t pleased with our shooting in the first half. We were in the lockerroom for about two minutes and came out and just shot. We just needed to make shots.”
Wawasee’s lack of scoring touch carried over from a lackluster Triton tournament last weekend, where only 63 points were scored in the two losses to Triton and Leo. Kylee Rostochak had 11 of Wawasee’s points Tuesday against West Noble, but just two in the second half and no other Lady Warrior had more than five points. West Noble was keying Rostochak on every possession, and Wawasee just couldn’t get a second scorer to emerge.
“We got any shot we wanted to in the first half,” Zolman said, noting several occasions where his team failed to execute opportunities. “We know that’s our bugaboo. It’s been our bugaboo since last weekend. We can’t hit layups and we can’t hit free throws. It’s a mindset, and until this team gets a mindset to play with an edge, we have to play the entire time and not just three quarters.”
Wawasee’s junior varsity team had the complete opposite result, scoring its game’s first 34 points against a completely overmatched West Noble club in a 53-11 final score in game one. Kayla White led the Lady Warriors with 11 points while Hannah-Marie Lamle had 10 points, Madison Beaman nine points and Aubrey Kuhn eight points. Kasia Weigold scored all but two of West Noble’s points.
Wawasee (3-5) will step into Northern Lakes Conference play next Friday with a home date against Goshen while West Noble (4-2) will play at Goshen next Tuesday.