PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Concord holds off Goshen, Penn advances in narrow sectional double-feature

Feb. 27—ELKHART — If down to the wire is your preferred path to victory, then Elkhart's NorthSide Gym was the place to be Tuesday night in the IHSAA Class 4A Elkhart sectional.

Concord and Penn continued its season, knocking off Goshen and Northridge respectively in nail-biter fashion.

Defense played a larger role in the second game as offense paved the way in the second half of the introductory game at NorthSide.


When Concord beat Goshen in the regular season matchup in Dunlap, the RedHawks scored 22 points in a 47-22 loss. This time, the RedHawks took it to the Minutemen in a four-quarter slugfest. In the end, the Minutemen kept title aspirations alive in the 50-44 win.

Goshen sophomore Levi Sawatzky dealt the early damage. The guard weaved into driving lanes with a soft touch at the rim that bounced in repeatedly. Then, at the first quarter horn, the RedHawk drained a deep 3-pointer to give Goshen a 11-5 lead after the first eight minutes of action.

"It was a little rough in the first half," Concord head coach Derrick DeShone said. "We came out a little tight. [Braeden] Messenger was out and he was a little rusty from being out and missed some bunnies he usually makes."

"Number 10, he kept me up at night," DeShone said about Sawatzky's consistent shooting Tuesday night. "He's a really good player and he's been shooting it really well, and I was nervous with how we were going to defend him. I think Lucas Prough did a pretty good job."

Concord, a little off-balance to start, found its footing on the defensive end. An 11-2 run began the quarter with the Minutemen now up 16-13 at the 5:11 minute mark. The lead would swell to five at 20-15 at the break, giving Concord a narrow edge halfway through the first battle at NorthSide. Lucas Prough led the Minutemen with 10 points — eight in the second quarter. Sawatzky had been the RedHawks leader with 11.

The third quarter featured Concord building its largest lead at the 4:36 mark off a Prough triple at 32-25. Gage Worthman scored his first points for the RedHawks on a triple and Andre Williams completed a left-handed reverse layup and Goshen was suddenly down 32-30.

Concord held a 37-32 lead heading into the final period. Building an eight-point lead, Goshen once again struck back to put the game within two. Trailing 42-40 with a little over two minutes to play, the pace became slower as the Minutemen opted to run off some clock with the lead.

Parker McCuen worked underneath throughout the night but found some space to lay-in the bucket for a 44-40 Concord advantage with a minute to play. Both teams traded trips to the line, but Goshen didn't have the right recipe to knock off the impressive Minutemen losing 50-44.

DeShone took a breath of relief exiting the locker room.

"This is a different position we've been in," the Minutemen head coach said. "We haven't been a quote-unquote tournament favorite in a long time. How to deal with that is always tricky."

Prough led Concord with 18 points followed by Parker McCuen (14), Braeden Messenger (10), Jaylan Bolen (5) and Avery Johnson (3). The Minutemen shot 16-of-51 and were 6-of-14 from the 3-point line.

Goshen was led by Sawatzky (19 points) and was followed by Andre Williams (10), Gage Worthman (6), Braxton Cline (5), Brock Elion (2) and Merrill Weddell (2).

The RedHawks will lose five seniors next year. The core of Sawatzky and Cline will be the calling cards next season as juniors.

"I think you see what Braxton and Levi became as the year ended, Goshen head coach Michael Wohlford said. "They were excellent and we're looking forward to build with them but we'll miss our seniors."


In the second of Tuesday's double feature was a rematch between Penn and Northridge.

The Kingsmen, who were overtime winners in Middlebury this season, found a late spark at the end of Tuesday's game to bring home the 39-34 victory on the backs of a 6-0 run to end the game.

Dominic Bonner scored 14 points and Maverick Brown added 10 for Penn.

Kam Radeker knocked down the 3-pointer and pulled the game in Northridge's favor up 34-33 with under four minutes to play. To follow, the Raiders struggled to hold onto possessions and Penn worked the clock down after Brown's layup gave the Kingsmen the 35-34 lead with three minutes to play.

Brown scored eight second-half points and took control of the game the rest of the way.

"We had some good stretches in the second half and we had some poor stretches," Northridge head coach Scott Radeker said. "We didn't rebound. You can take it back to that. We did not rebound well, gave up a lot on the boards and turned it over in critical times. Had possession up two and gave it back to them We just turned it over too many times."

Still, down three with 10 seconds to play, the Raiders drew close to evening the score. An inbound to Brady Scholl let Mason Bales receive the kick out on the left wing. Bales, a perimeter shooter, couldn't get his shot to fall and Penn walked away with the win.

"At the end, I think we got a great look," Scott Radeker said. "I mean, what else can you expect. We hit the post, got the kick out and Mason had a great look at it, just didn't go down."

Brady Scholl led the charge for the senior-less Raiders. Scholl scored 13 points and was followed by Bales (5), Kam Radeker (5), Hayden Johnson (5), Gideon Campbell (4) and Dylan Springer (2). The Raiders shot 13-of-31 including a 3-of-14 mark from behind the arc.

Penn scoring ran as Bonner (!4), Brown (10), Alex Hawthorne (8), Ethan Good (4), Nolan McCullough (2) and Trey Miller (2).

"I'm proud of our guys and the effort they gave this season," Scott Radeker said. Every guy improved. It was just an amazing effort by the guys. Obviously, this will motivate them for the offseason. We made so many leaps and bounds this year its not even funny. They handled this game like champions."

Semifinal matchups for Friday are set as Concord facing Warsaw in the first game followed by Elkhart taking on Penn.


IHSAA Class 4A Sectional 4 — hosted by Elkhart High School at North Side Gymnasium

Concord vs. Goshen

Concord — 5 17 15 13 — 50

Goshen — 11 6 15 12 — 44

Concord faces Warsaw on Friday

Northridge vs. Penn

Northridge — 11 5 13 5 — 39

Penn — 8 13 6 12 — 39

Penn faces Elkhart on Friday

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at