NAPPANEE – The NorthWood boys basketball team withstood a late charge to clip Concord Thursday night in Northern Lakes Conference play.
The host Panthers, despite being outscored 16-8 in the final quarter, nipped the Minutemen by a 43-42 final for the league win.
NorthWood, ranked No. 3 in Class 3-A, led 6-5 after the opening frame and 22-17 at halftime of the NLC matchup. The hosts were ahead 35-26 after the third period before Concord rallied in the final stanza.
The Minutemen took the lead at 42-41 on a bucket by Denzel Halliburton with just 32 seconds to play. NorthWood regained the lead with 10 seconds left at 43-42 on a layup by Vinny Miranda. Concord then missed a free throw with four seconds to play, followed by two misses from the line by NorthWood. The Minutemen were then unable to get off a shot in the final second.
Luke Zurcher led the way for the winners with a game-high 14 points.
Vinny Miranda, the top scorer for the Panthers at 21.7 points-per-game, finished with 10 points. Try Bilinski had seven points and a team-high seven rebounds for NorthWood.
The Panthers hit 7-11 free throws in the game, while Concord was just 1-5 from the stripe.
The duo of Brandon Emerick and Denzel Halliburton each scored 11 points to pace Concord.
NorthWood improves to 15-1 overall and goes to 5-1 in league play, good for second place. Warsaw clinched at least a share of the conference title at 6-0 with an NLC win over Elkhart Memorial Thursday night. Concord drops to 6-10 overall and is now 2-4 in the NLC.
NorthWood won the junior varsity game 35-30. Nick Bean had 12 points and Kaden Gongwer 11 to lead the winners.
Concord plays at Elkhart Christian Academy Monday night. NorthWood plays at West Noble Tuesday night.