NAPPANEE – A nearly perfect start paved the way as the NorthWood boys basketball team capped off a perfect season on their home court Friday night.
The Panthers raced to an 18-point lead after the opening frame en route to easily taking care of Elkhart Christian Academy 77-54 at The Pit.
NorthWood, ranked No. 4 in Class 3-A, finishes the season a perfect 9-0 at home. The Panthers have now won 15 straight home contests dating back to last season.
NorthWood rolled to a 26-8 lead after the first quarter and was up 41-20 at halftime.
Luke Zurcher had a huge night for the winners with a game-high 26 points. The senior canned five treys and also led his team with nine rebounds in the dominating win.
Senior star Vinny Miranda popped in 20 points, including hitting 7-7 from the free throw line. Miranda also had six rebounds and six assists.
Trey Bilinski added 10 points for the Panthers, who improve to 18-2.
NorthWood shot 28-64 overall from the field, including 11-27 from 3-point range. The hosts had just six turnovers in the win.
Weston Sage led ECA with 18 points. Jacob Maxwell scored 11 points and Ryan Charles 10 for the Eagles.
ECA shot just 8-21 in the opening half. The Eagles finished 6-14 from the line and had 18 turnovers in dropping to 10-8.
NorthWood won the junior varsity game 42-21. Nick Bean led the winners with 13 points.
NorthWood plays at South Bend St. Joseph Saturday night and at Manchester Tuesday night to wrap up the regular season. ECA hosts South Bend Career Academy Saturday afternoon, hosts Elkhart Central Tuesday night and plays at Argos next Friday night to end their regular season.