By Mike Deak
MIDDLEBURY – Northridge has made itself well known with its prolific outside shooting. Blake Jacobs gave NorthWood something else to worry about.
Jacobs scored a season-high 17 points, all in the first three quarters, as Northridge’s inside game complimented its outside game in a 66-58 win over NorthWood Friday night.
Jacobs had 13 of those paint points in the first half, which circumvented just two made threes from the Raiders, the team came into the night having made 90 threes on the season, shooting at a 40 percent clip.
While Jacobs faded in the scoring column in the fourth, Northridge began to hit its bombs in crunch time. And the Raiders needed them.
After Ridge took a nine-point lead with 1:30 to go in the third, NorthWood closed the quarter with eight straight points, including a bank shot three from Cade Brenner to cut the lead to one. Jamarr Jackson and Ben Vincent added buckets to open the fourth for a 47-44 Panther lead, then the threes started to fall for the Raiders.
Trevor Brown and Clay Stoltzfus hit treys in succession, and Brown later hit another as Ridge was in the midst of a 9-2 run. That streak would continue, as Brown got an offensive rebound to go in, and then hit a free throw with 2:32 to go to make the score 56-49.
That would follow with a technical foul called on the NorthWood bench, which Northridge made a five-point possession after Sam Smith hit the penalty points and then stepped outside and drilled another three.
“I thought we executed well against their zone early and made them adjust how they wanted to guard us in segments,” said NorthWood head coach Aaron Wolfe. “I think in the fourth quarter, we had to take better care of the basketball. But you have to give Northridge the credit they deserve, they played really well late in that game.”
Smith, who led the Raiders (7-3, 1-1 NLC) with 20 points, has scored in double figures in 29 of his last 30 games. Brown would finish his night with 12 points.
The loss for the Panthers (8-3, 2-1 NLC) had three reach double figures, led by Vincent’s season-high 15 points. Ian Raasch notched 14 points and Brenner settled at 13 points.
The inability to keep pace in the fourth, where NorthWood gave up 22 points to the Raiders, had Wolfe eager to see his team respond.
“I think our guys responded to the speed of Northridge, we just needed to be a little more sound in the fourth quarter,” Wolfe said. “All in all I was pretty proud of our guys. We just got beat by a very good basketball team that executed what it needed to in times that we didn’t.”
Jordan Weaver made one shot in the game, but it was the most important as he hit a runner with 2,7 seconds to go in overtime to lift the Raiders to a 48-46 win. Ethan Wolfe led the Panthers with 15 points and NiTareon Tuggle added 12 points in the loss.