Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

December 15, 2012

Battle-tested Northwestern tops Maconaquah

Bunker Hill — Northwestern forward Trenton Brazel has shown an impressive knack of earning free throw attempts, racking up 63 through the Tigers’ first five games.

The KT All-Area player made it to the line when it mattered most against Maconaquah on Friday night.

With the squads locked in a 54-all tie, Brazel cut to the basket from the right wing and received a pass from Jacob Wagner. Brazel went up, absorbed contact from the defense, and earned a trip to the line with :05 remaining. He made both attempts to lift the Tigers to a 56-54 win.

“We’ve run that play hundreds of times. It’s our go-to play,” Brazel said. “Coach [Jim Gish] said let’s go to the play at :10 and we went to it. I honestly didn’t think Wagner was going to be able to get me the ball. He got it through there and I end up looking up and I’m behind the basket, but I’m not letting anyone else know that. I go into the guy, [draw] a foul and then hit those two free throws.

“It’s a good play. It works for us. We ran it earlier and I got two points off it.”

Maconaquah called a timeout, then advanced the ball to halfcourt where it called another timeout with :02.4 remaining. The Braves saw their final play fizzle without a shot attempt.

The Tigers’ two-point win continued their trend of razor-tight games. Their six games have been decided by a total of 22 points — and they kicked off the season of suspense by playing a pair of double-OT games.

“Coach is going to have a lot of gray hair after this year,” Brazel joked. “... I wish we could just win by 10 and I get to sit out for a little bit. But beggars can’t be choosers so I’ll take the W.”

The Tigers improved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Mid-Indiana Conference. The Braves dropped to 3-2 and 0-1.

Maconaquah owned a 46-41 lead with 5:56 remaining, but was unable to hold on for the win.

“I always tell my guys, ‘I want it to come down to who wants the game more.’ I really didn’t think we showed it in the fourth quarter,” Mac coach Andy Steele said. “I thought we had seven solid minutes in that fourth quarter, just the last minute we didn’t really know what to do.”

Steele lamented the Braves’ defensive approach on the Tigers’ final possession.

“Obviously, No. 30 [Brazel] is probably going to be getting the ball. And for some reason, we just let him,” he said.

Northwestern jumped to an 11-2 lead and held an 11-4 lead at the close of the opening quarter as Maconaquah struggled mightily against the Tigers’ zone defense, which paid heavy attention to Mac center Micah Pier. The Braves connected on just 1 of 11 shots in the quarter, missing all five attempts from 3-point range. Pier, a 6-foot-10 center, was held without an attempt from the field in the quarter.

Northwestern’s ball security problems allowed Maconaquah to claw back into the game. The Tigers had 24 turnovers in the game, including a whopping 10 in the second quarter. The Braves forged a 22-all tie before Brazel scored on a full-court drive to the basket in the closing seconds of the opening half to give the Tigers a 24-22 lead.

Adam Harts gave the Braves their first lead (29-27) when he hit a 3-pointer at 5:23 of the third quarter and the Braves went on to lead 40-36 at the close of the quarter.

After Maconaquah went up 46-41 with 5:56 remaining, Northwestern used an 11-4 run to take a 52-50 lead at 3:37. Following ties at 52 and 54, Brazel’s free throws gave the Tigers the win.

Brazel and 6-7 center Chase Johnson keyed the 11-4 run. Brazel hit a 3-pointer and had a pair of driving layups and Johnson had a putback basket and a post basket.

“We had some veterans step up,” Gish said. “Chase really battled hard. I thought they did a good job of neutralizing him and obviously his foul trouble plagued him early in the game, so he never really got into a rhythm. But when he came back in, he took what they gave him offensively. Pier was trying to block shots and Chase was able to go to the boards and get some nice offensive putbacks for us at key times in the game.

“I thought Trenton did a nice job in the fourth quarter, hit some big shots for us as he usually does.”

Brazel scored 11 points in the final quarter. He finished with a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds. Johnson had nine points and eight rebounds. They led the Tigers to a 36-21 advantage on the boards.

Also for Northwestern, Logan Macaluso offered a spark with seven points on 3-of-3 shooting, all in the second quarter.

Kyle Dinn led the Braves. He came off the bench to score 14 points and grab seven rebounds.

“He’s one of those guys who just wants to get after it, play as hard as he can. If he scores two points or 14 points, he doesn’t care, he’s just a solid team player,” Steele said.

Pier had 12 points and six rebounds. The Tigers held Pier to just seven attempts from the field. Pier also missed three minutes in the final quarter with an injury. Tyler Bradley chipped in seven points but was limited by foul trouble all game, picking up two in the first two minutes of the game.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NCAA Concussion Lawsuit-9 [Duplicate] NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, socce

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Downey, Keagan mug Sixers begin state tourney play today The Kokomo Post 6 baseball squad heads to the American Legion state tournament at Plymouth today brimming with confidence. That’s good and bad.“I believe every time we step on the field our kids believe they are the team to beat,” said Kokomo skipper

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Tuesday, July 29 Northwestern sets 1st practice timesNorthwestern has announced its first practice times and dates for high school and middle school sports. All athletes must have a valid 2014-15 physical on file in the athletic office to participate. The times and d

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - KT072914 Colts-pic QB Luck making progress ANDERSON — Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University.During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.The Indianapolis Colts quar

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts part ways with Rainey after violation ANDERSON — Just two days after earning praise for his playmaking ability from head coach Chuck Pagano, running back Chris Rainey was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday morning.The news was broken in a press release around 8:30 a.m. and later

    July 29, 2014

  • SPL - KT071514 - B1 briefs - mug Athlete of the Week: Tionna Brown ATHLETE OF THE WEEK• NAME: Tionna Brown• SPORT: Track and field• ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The Kokomo seventh grader won three events at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic national meet in Humble, Texas, in her first appearance at a national meet. Brown w

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brown wins 3rd title at nationals HUMBLE, Texas — Kokomo middle schooler Tionna Brown surged to first in the 100 meter dash at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic national meet Sunday, capping the weekend with her third championship.Competing in the girls 11-12-year-old division,

    July 28, 2014

  • SPL - KT072614 - Dana Neer column - column sig NEER: Starting and sustaining your workouts Here we go again, hoping to start your workout plan again on Monday. This time your plan is to make it stick, keep with it, follow through. Hopefully it will work.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing-3 [Duplicate] It's 'Jeff Gordon Day' at IMS for record 5th time INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — With a fifth Brickyard 400 victory on the line Sunday, Jeff Gordon looked like the driver he was 20 years ago. Gordon nailed the final restart of the race — no given because restarts have been Gordon's Achilles heel — to pass Hen

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • fishing clinic 02 (secondary pic) Kids fishing clinic is a blast for all The seasons come and go, but the excitement, challenge, allure and joy remain the same — off the chart. There are memorable moments, then there are occasions and special events that become tattoos for life.Still, joy is where you find it, and Saturda

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos