MARION – The first of a very long day at Marion High School had the top boys basketball team in Class 3-A defeat the defending Class 1-A champion. NorthWood posted a 61-37 win over Liberty Christian in the first of seven showcase games Thursday at Marion.
Returning to the site of its regional finals loss last March, NorthWood started quickly on the Lions and didn’t let up. The Panthers took a 20-8 lead, never trailing in the contest.
NorthWood’s top two scorers were true to form Thursday, with Vinny Miranda and Luke Zurcher both hitting for 16 points. The two also combined for four offensive and 15 total rebounds, three assists, three blocks, two steals and were 4-12 from three-point range.
Caleb Lung added six points and five rebounds, Caleb Glick had seven points and Trey Bilinski had five points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Ronny Williams and Trajan Dixon each had eight points for the Lions. Williams, who is averaging 25.1 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, was held to 4-11 shooting and 0-3 from deep. He did corral seven boards.
NorthWood improves to 6-0 on the year while Liberty Christian falls to 3-5.
On the schedule for Thursday at Marion was the first game of the day between NorthWood and Liberty Christian, followed by Oak Hill and Northeastern, East Chicago Central and Indianapolis Tech, Fort Wayne North and Lawrence Central, Merrillville and McCutcheon, Fort Wayne Snider and Lawrence North, and Marion and Mount Vernon Fortville.
NorthWood will host its home tournament on Dec. 29 and 30, facing Mishawaka on the 29th with South Bend Clay and Edwardsburg (Mich.) playing opposite. The winners and losers will meet up on the 30th, all games played at NorthWood.