An 0-3 start to the season seems to be slowly fading into the review mirror for Northwestern’s boys basketball team.
The Tigers closed out 2013 with a 65-39 Mid-Indiana Conference blowout over visiting Maconaquah on Friday night, moving to 2-3 overall and 2-1 in loop play heading into the holiday break.
“I’m just really proud of the kids and the way they came out and produced,” Northwestern coach Jim Gish said. “We were just locked in, and the guys really channeled themselves. The boys were as focused as I’ve seen a lot of kids in a lot of years.”
Gish got a solid, focused effort from every player who hit the floor as it was the bench that boosted the Tigers in a big way.
With 2:00 to play in the first quarter, Northwestern leading scorer Graham Ortmann, who entered Friday averaging 20.8 points per game, went to the bench with his third foul. On the following play, Kyle Dinn gave the Braves their biggest lead of the night at 9-3. The Tigers’ bench then took over the scoreboard, stringing together a 7-0 run to close out the first quarter with a 10-9 edge and accounting for a 14-2 run overall that left Mac (2-2, 0-1) staring at a 17-11 deficit with 6:28 to go in the half.
“It was unbelievable,” Gish said. “From a coach’s perspective, I’d say it’s about as ideal as you get, where you go grab a kid and they produce.”
Robert Olsen started the reserves’ scoring spree with a bucket, Logan Macaluso followed with a hoop, and Tyler Hudson closed out the first frame with a free throw and a basket to put Northwestern up by a point.
Olsen added another freebie while Riley Hudson netted six points at the start of the second quarter to give Northwestern all the momentum it needed. Logan Galbraith, who paced the Tigers with 12 points, scored four straight to push the lead to double digits, 26-15 midway through the quarter and overall, the Tigers outscored the Braves 26-12 in the period to go up 36-21 at the half.