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PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Northridge controls fourth on way to 46-43 victory over Concord

Feb. 9—MIDDLEBURY — In the final Northern Lakes Conference game at the 'Middlebury Madhouse', Northridge didn't disappoint a standing-room only crowd, snapping Concord's 10-game win streak for a 46-43 win over the Minutemen.

The fourth quarter featured the largest lead of the game turn into a one possession contest in the closing minutes.

Up 41-33, Northridge struggled to maintain the largest lead for either team all game. Turnovers down the stretch gave the visiting Minutemen extra possessions where Jaylan Bolen responded.

With 1:26 left in the game, Kam Radeker sunk a floater to push the lead 43-38. On the other end, Braeden Messenger cashed in a 3-pointer from the left corner to trail Northridge 43-41.

Raiders with the ball, Concord was forced to foul with 19 seconds left. Radeker calmly knocked down both free throws for a 45-41 lead. Lucas Prough went 2-of-2 at the line to narrow it down to 45-43 on the other end.

Down 46-43, the Minutemen heaved a long inbound pass to the corner with three seconds left. Concord's Jaylan Bolen caught the pass and released a triple that rimmed out at the horn, sealing the Raiders victory.

"I thought that was a good look," Concord head coach Derrick DeShone said following the loss. "I thought we executed the play well."

"We didn't shoot it very well tonight. The pace was where we want it. They hit some threes and we didn't and that was the difference in the game. Both teams played hard, it was a great atmosphere, they probably made one or two more shots than we did."

Exiting the locker room, Northridge head coach Scott Radeker showed a sign of relief after another close conference game commenting "another night in the NLC."

"We contested it pretty well without fouling but Bolen made a great catch and gave them a chance," Radeker said. "I'm just glad we didn't foul him. He was fading away, deep corner. I was just hoping for the best."

The win evened the conference record between the two teams at 5-2. Mishawaka, 40-32 winners over NorthWood Friday night, sits at 5-1 with the final conference game coming at Wawasee next Saturday. If the Cavemen win, they'll be sole owners of the conference title. A loss, however, pushes the Raiders to settle for a three-way tie with the Minutemen and Cavemen.

Northridge was led by Radeker who scored 21 points. He was followed by Hayden Johnson (9), Mason Bales (7), Brady Scholl (6), Luke Mann (2) and Gideon Campbell (1). Scholl also added four blocks.

The Raiders shot 15-of-34 from the floor including 7-of-17 from behind the arc.

"He was able to keep his cool tonight and didn't let anything get to him from the stands or the crowd, he just kept playing and I thought he had a great game tonight," Scott Radeker said about his son Kam. "This is a coach speaking. I think he hit some big shots, some timely shots and just really proud of his effort tonight."

Concord was led in scoring by Prough and Braeden Messenger with 11 points each. Trailing was Jaylan Bolen (9), Andrew Kavanaugh (5), Parker McCuen (5) and Camden Bonds (2).

The Minutemen were 15-of-41 from the floor including a 6-of-18 clip from behind the 3-point line.

Despite trailing by eight in the final quarter, Concord worked its way back into the game for the exciting finish Friday night.

"One was shot selection," DeShone said on what the Minutemen did to climb back to one possession in the closing minutes. "I thought we got down and there were a couple open threes we missed and then there were shots that were out of character for us. When it got to 38-31, we calmed down and got back to where we needed to play."

"Ultimately, the pace of the game was where we wanted it, they just hit some more shots than us. That was the name of the game."

Concord's lead at halftime 25-22 following a last-ditch effort 3-pointer from Concord's Andrew Kavanaugh found nylon at the horn. It was one of the few edges after a fist quarter full of fireworks ended at a 14-14 stalemate.

Halftime adjustments worked well for the Raiders. Lucas Prough, who scored 27 points and seven 3-pointers in the last game for Concord last week, scored nine points in the opening quarter. He ended with 11.

"We wanted to rebound better," Scott Radeker about the main focus at halftime. "We gave up at least six points on boards to guys that don't score a lot for them. We wanted to tighten the notch on them. We wanted to push the tempo a little more."

Concord's patient pace of place has worked well this season. Northridge tried pushing up the tempo and we successful in spurts, but locking down defensively was the most successful option to oppose the visiting Minutemen.

"They grind out possessions and they don't make a whole lot of mistakes and they get the shots they want to get," Scott Radeker said. "Tonight, we were able to outlast them on a few possessions. We talked about outlasting them at halftime and for the most part we did that. They took some long possessions and turned it over and [we] got steals which was a great team defense by our guys and patience."

Both sixth-year head coaches marveled at the crowd size which saw watchers standing at railings and fans packed in tightly.

"I say it all the time," DeShone said. "We're doing something right if as a program we are playing in environments like that with something on the line."

"This is the biggest crowd since I've been here," Scott Radeker said. "I really believe it is. When the A.D. has to get on the P.A. and tell people to move in and squeeze in together... I don't ever remember having that happen before. It's probably the biggest one since we've been here."

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at matt.lucas@goshennews.com.