Patriots close regular season with 18th straight win

Feb. 23—Visiting Terre Haute North finished its regular season in high school basketball Friday night by thumping an old nemesis on the road.

And, not surprisingly, the Patriots did it with defense.

The Patriots held host Evansville North, which had won four straight games in the series between the two until the Patriots got a home win last winter, to just two points in the first quarter and seven for the first half in a 53-37 rout.

"A very positive way to end the regular season on the road with a hard-fought win," coach Todd Woelfle reported after the game. "We were able to hold what can be an explosive offensive team to seven points in the first half, which is a credit to team defense and this group believing in each other. It's been our staple and will need to continue in the sectional."

For Patriot fans, the news gets even better. Sophomore Brady Klopfenstein, expected to be one of his team's leading scorers when the season started, was the game's leading scorer Friday by coming off the bench for 15 points. Could North be even deeper offensively for sectional play?

"Brady Klopfenstein gave us a high lift tonight, hitting five 3-pointers," Woelfle said. "Bryce Renn had a nice all-around game [and scored 11], Kam Baker had some tough drives in the second half and Braden Walters was really good in the second half on both ends ... different guys stepping up on different nights is the mark of a good team and one of the reasons [the Patriots] are having success."

Walters added nine points and Baker, Kavish Reddy and Cam Fennell scored six each for Terre Haute North, now 21-3. The Patriots play next Friday at the Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional against the winner of Tuesday night's Plainfield-Brownsburg game.

Evansville North, 11-12, will host its own Class 4A sectional and plays Castle in the opening game Tuesday.