BY TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Northwestern’s boys soccer team out-shot Tri-Central 43-13 in Thursday night’s matchup in Sharpsville, but the shots didn’t yield much production in the first half, as the teams played to a 1-1 tie by intermission.
The Purple Tigers found better luck in the second half, pushing three goals through to take a 4-1 victory over the Trojans to improve to 11-3 on the season.
“I thought in the second half we were a little more patient on offense,” Northwestern coach Jim Wagner said. “We weren’t taking as many quick shots as we did in the first half. We ended up controlling the ball much of the game and out-shot them, but had a couple balls hit off the post.”
Blaine Brutus had a superb night for Northwestern, scoring all four of the squad’s goals. Brutus was assisted by Parker Fessenden, Jacob Wagner and Cameron Cotheren.
“Blaine was pretty relentless around the goal and made a couple nice shots to help us secure the win,” Jim Wagner said. “In the first half, it seemed like we rushed some shots that maybe weren’t the highest quality of shots we’d like to see. We worked the ball better in the second half, and that led to better shots, which helped us break through.”
Grant Condon posted six saves in goal for Northwestern. Jake Kimbrow scored Tri-Central’s goal in the first half.
EASTERN 10, SHERIDAN 0
The Comets built a 5-0 lead by intermission, cruising to a home win over the Blackhawks to improve to 9-3 on the season.
Jordan VanMatre led the way with four goals. Cole Walker added a pair of goals, while Darren Bellow, Dillon Ryan, Dalton Ryan and Lucas VanMatre each added a goal. Ben Cole had the team’s lone assist.
Delon Tuggle and Ben Evenson shared time in goal, with each posting a pair of saves. Sheridan managed four shots on goal.
“We’re trying to mix it up and get some versatility in our offensive attack,” Eastern coach John VanMatre said. “It’s nice to be able to work on the things we’re doing in practice and work the ball around. It was nice to get some of the freshmen in and get them a chance to score. Cole, Lucas and Walker are freshmen, and a couple of sophomores scored as well, so that was nice.”
WESTERN 4, HAM. HTS. 1
Nic Bewley opened the scoring off a passing combination from Jordan Roe and Mason May to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead at halftime. May scored off a Bewley feed after halftime, and Chris Root added two more goals in the second half. Chris Carter and Zac Simpson assisted Root’s goals as Western built a 4-0 lead at home.
Edgar Sanchez had nine saves Bryce Campbell subbed in in the second half and had three saves as Western improved to 8-2-1, 4-1 in the MIC.
“Nick Downing, who has just been great for us on defense, he had a really nice game,” Western coach Mike Roe said. “Zac Simpson played well back there. Out of the back he really helped orchestrate our offense and got us moving early on. Edgar Sanchez, he had seven saves in the first half and some of them were good-quality saves. He kept us in there early on and just had a terrific game. Jordan Roe did well in the midfield for us. It was an overall great team effort, but those guys were pretty impressive.”
EASTERN 2, BLACKFORD 1
Elena White scored both Eastern’s goals in the second half as the Comets came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit on the road. Josey Hawkins assisted the winning goal midway through the second half. Brooke Stout had five saves for the Comets (10-2).
“We started out pretty good and we had a lot of attacks at the beginning of the game but all of our shots were either going wide or to the keeper, and then the second half of the first half Blackford really stepped up their game and had us back on our heels.
“I put it to the girls to step up [at halftime]. I think this game more than any game we’ve played this year it was more of a team effort. I had several people that came in as subs that gave me valuable minutes. The whole team really stepped up well in the second half.”
LOGAN 4, NORTHWESTERN 1
The Purple Tigers were unable to overcome a 2-1 halftime deficit, falling to the Berries in Logansport to drop to 5-7 on the season.
Kennedy Priday scored Northwestern’s goal on an assist from Christine Dewhurst. Goalie Chloe Redman posted eight saves for the Tigers.
“Our girls are really putting concepts together, and did it [Thursday] night against an extremely physical team,” Northwestern coach Samantha Elkins said. “There were calls that should’ve been made to protect the game, but it was a pretty loosely called game that left us pretty dispatched. For Northwestern’s girls to stay strong and possess their space, I was extremely proud of the girls. They showed there was more to them than just playing the game. They held their ground and weren’t intimidated by girls who were quite a bit larger than them. I’m happy for that.”
MCCUTCHEON 4, KOKOMO 1
Kokomo (6-7) had a tough match against Class 2A, No. 18-ranked McCutcheon. The Wildkats trailed 3-0 at halftime, but matched the Mavs 1-1 in the second half.
“McCutcheon is a very good team,” Kokomo coach Kevin Duggins said. “We have a young squad, and we played them even in the second half, so I am happy how we played [Thursday].”
Taylor Coram scored Kokomo’s only goal unassisted. Goalie Catherine Skaggs had 12 saves.
TAYLOR 5, CASS 0
Taylor (10-2) won a share of the Mid-Indiana Conference title with Hamilton Heights each with 6-1 records as the Titans shut out the Kings.
Hamilton Heights defeated Western 3-2 in order to share the title.
It was also Taylor coach Dave Wise’s 400th career victory as the boys coach.
“It was nice for me to get my 400th win,” Wise said. “Going into the season, I had 390 wins, and I didn’t think we were going to win 10 matches. Last year, we were by far the hands down favorite to win the MIC, and this year the was no mention of us. The improvement of the boys was great, and they played above their games.”
Taylor’s singles players dropped a total of five games as No. 1 Jack Lipchik won 6-2, 6-0, No. 2 Camden Kimbler won 6-0, 6-2, and No. 3 Casey Glick won 6-1, 6-0.
The No. 1 doubles team of Cole Schroeder and Austin Douglas won in three sets 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 and the No. 2 doubles team of Connor Leicht and Caleb Copp won 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5).
“It was nice for the singles to come in and off the courts with three points, so it made it easier for the doubles teams to get their wins,” Wise added. “It was nice for the No. 2 doubles team to end the conference with a win.”
HAM. HTS. 3, WESTERN 2
The Panthers dropped a three-setter at No. 1 doubles, where Justin Groothuis and Vito Pulverenti fell 7-5, 6-7 (6-7), 6-0 to cap a hard-fought match in Arcadia.
Judson Quinn posted a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 1 singles for the Panthers (8-7, 4-3 MIC) to improve to 16-1 on the season and finish conference play at 7-0.
Western’s No. 2 doubles tandem of Kaleb Howard and Luke Florek fought off a 6-0 loss in the opening set, battling back to take the next two sets 6-3, 6-4 to improve to 15-2 on the season and also finish off a 7-0 run in conference play.
“It was a competitive match,” Western coach Andrew Miller said. “Our No. 1 doubles team fought off a pair of match points in that second set to force a third set and give us hope, but they just kind of ran out of gas. A 4-3 record in conference play is pretty solid for us with as young as we are. We have to figure out heading into the sectional where we’ll get a third point at. Our 1 singles and 2 doubles have been pretty consistent, but we’re still searching for a third point. I’m very proud of our team. In a quality match with a team like Hamilton Heights, we could tell how much we’ve improved throughout the year, especially with a team full of inexperienced players.”
KOKOMO 3, H. NORTH 2
The Wildkats finished the regular season on a positive note when the No. 2 doubles team of Blake Brookeshire and Jake Farkas won the No. 2 doubles match 6-4, 6-2 to tilt the team match the Kats’ way. Also for Kokomo, Craig Simon won the No. 1 singles match 6-2, 6-1 and Bryce York won the No. 2 match 6-1, 6-2. Kokomo finished the regular season 6-12 and 2-4 in the NCC.
“I thought our singles guys played outstanding,” Kokomo coach Shawn Flanary said. “Grant [Patterson, the No. 3 player] played pretty well too. Craig and Bryce controlled their matches too. [Huntington’s No. 2 doubles team] I think they maybe came in with only one conference loss and beat a Logan team that beat us pretty bad so I was glad to see our guys fired up and get a decisive point.”
EASTERN 5, CARROLL 0
The Comets celebrated senior night with a sweep of the Cougars, improving to 7-9 on the season.
Ryan Manfred won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Logan Colwell was a 6-0, 6-0 winner at No. 2 singles, and Austin Chase took a 6-0, 6-1 decision at the No. 3 post to complete the singles sweep.
Zach Walker and Matt Wylie were 6-3, 6-2 winners at No. 1 doubles, while Robbie Walling and Caleb Wisher closed out the rout with a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 2 doubles.
“It was a nice senior night for us with six seniors in the varsity lineup, and I thought all the guys played really well,” Eastern coach Nick Sale said. “We have a tournament at Wabash this weekend, and that’ll be it for us until the sectional. I’m proud of the seniors. It’ll be a tough group to replace, but [Thursday] night was nice for us.”
EASTERN DEF. TAYLOR 25-6, 25-7, 25-13
Eastern (13-7) stays near the top of the Mid-Indiana Conference with a 5-1 record after sweeping Taylor.
“I was really proud of the girls,” Eastern coach Missy Mavrick said. “We played clean, and we did a good job of getting our serves in. We kept our hitting errors down. It was a really good game.”
Courtney Clark led Eastern with 21 digs, 14 serve receptions and 14 service points. Quinlyn Hochstedler added 35 assists and 15 service points. Lizzy Mavrick came up with 18 digs and nine kills. Hannah Broo had 14 service points and nine digs. Hannah Williams contributed with 10 kills, followed by Gabby Castillo with nine and Kensey Duke with seven.
Hannah Mullinax led Taylor with 18 service receptions. Kim Seal had five kills. Rachel Hafley had seven service points and Valary Farmer had six.
“This was a very disappointing performance after our five-set match against Western Tuesday,” Taylor coach Denise Leicht said. “Eastern came out and took it to us and we didn’t respond at all. We are just very inconsistent right now, but it’s something we will continue to work on.
M-G DEF. TRI-CENTRAL 25-17, 25-23, 25-15
Tri-Central hung around with Class 2A, No. 4-ranked Madison-Grant only to fall in three. The loss snapped Tri-Central’s (11-9) six-match winning streak.
Tri-Central lost the first match by eight points, second match by two points and the third by 10 points.
“We played very well,” Tri-Central coach Ron Byram said. “We battled Madison-Grant the whole night, and we made some great plays. We were ahead 23-21 in the second game. Overall, I was pleased with the effort, and the caliber of play that we had.”
Hadley DeWeese led Tri-Central with eight blocks and five kills. Kaylee Colbert added eight assists and four service points. Shelby Ramsey contributed with six kills and five service points. Whitney Revolt had five kills and four blocks. Haley Farris followed with 27 digs. Tara Davis had 16 assists and Cecelia Rayl dug up 20.
H. NORTH DEF. KOKOMO 25-18, 18-25, 25-13, 25-13
Kokomo (6-12) lost its North Central Conference opener to a tough Viking team.
“We came out flat, and we turned it around in the second set,” Kokomo coach Jason Watson said. We fizzed out in the last two sets. We have to turn it around to make an impact in conference play.”
Tori Lauderbaugh led with nine kills and nine digs. Alanis Jones added five kills and two blocks. Kirsten Frey came up with five kills and two blocks, and Miranda Ogle had 15 assists and seven digs. Amanda Tran also had 18 digs.
TIPTON DEF. NORTHWESTERN 15-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-23
Northwestern (7-8) was able to take the opening set, but was unable to sustain the lead in a home loss to the Blue Devils.
Hannah Ballard continued her onslaught with six points, an ace, 22 kills, five blocks and 21 digs to lead the Tigers.
Emily Harshman added 15 points, five aces and 36 digs. Kelsey Richards added 11 points and 22 digs. Kristin Ireland added six points, two aces, two blocks and 12 assists. Alexis Brown floored six kills, and Sydney Zeck added nine kills, two blocks and 29 assists.
“Unforced errors hurt us,” Northwestern coach Trina Yager said. “We started hitting into the net and out of bounds and it brought them down a little bit, but we fought back and played hard. We struggled with serve receive. We got the ball up, but just had trouble putting it away, pushing at it instead of swinging hard. That made a difference. The girls played a great match, but Tipton is a great team and we didn’t end up on the right side. We’re improving so much as a team, and I told the girls they had nothing to hold their heads down about.”