NEW CASTLE – Soon after a 60-51 win over Jay County in the Hall of Fame Classic consolation game, the Northrop boys basketball team boarded the school buses and headed home.
The Bruins didn’t even stick around to watch the championship game, which Indiana Tech won by beating Indianapolis Cathedral 60-54.
Northrop (9-2) was looking to get back to Fort Wayne and get some rest for the finale of a five-game, four-day experience that culminates in tonight’s SAC tournament championship game against Concordia.
Northrop, the first Fort Wayne boys team to play in the Hall of Fame Classic in 34 years, was in the consolation game because of a fatigued-filled 72-59 semifinal loss to Indianapolis Tech.
To be able to respond and come back and get an important win that you hopefully want to lead into (tonight) was big, Northrop coach Barak Coolman said. (The SAC tournament) is more important than (Friday’s games) because there are bragging rights, and it is special to maybe be able to three-peat.
Awaiting the two-time defending SAC tournament champion Bruins in the 8:15 p.m. SAC title tilt at Wayne is an undefeated, and well-rested, Concordia team.
Our team came together, and we had to move forward from the first game, Northrop senior guard Brenton Scott said of the consolation game. We were a little fatigued from all the games we have been playing, but our confidence is still high going in the SAC title game.
Our shots weren’t falling because of fatigue, but we are going to come out (tonight), and we are going to surprise some people.
Bryson Scott led the Bruins against the Patriots (6-2) with 21 points, while Brenton Scott and Antonio Richmond each added 13.
Cathedral beat Jay County 53-47 in the first semifinal.
The experience was great, and we now know what we have to do to win ballgames, Brenton Scott said of playing in the Hall of Fame Classic despite the long week.
Bryson Scott made the all-tournament team.
We had to get up early, and none of us were really into that, Bryson Scott said of the first game. We got rest and got focused for the second game.
It’s been a good experience for us, like a dress rehearsal for regionals. We are going to come out (tonight) and play well too.
In the semifinals, the Class 4A No. 3 Titans outscored the No. 8 Bruins 26-16 in the third quarter.
We lost our focus a little bit, Coolman said of the Tech game. It was tough to do some of the things that have made us successful.
Obviously there was a big difference in energy level from (an 88-67 SAC semifinal win against Snider on Thursday) to Friday. I don’t think it was a fatigue thing as it was a mind thing. It means we didn’t play with the energy that we need to play with.
Northrop led 13-11 after the first quarter but was down 27-23 at halftime.
Bryson Scott led Northrop with 19 points and five rebounds but had six turnovers.
Cory Womack added 16 points, and Brenton Scott had only seven points and was scoreless in the first half.
Tech got 19 points from Trey Lyles, including 11 in the pivotal third.
Lyles added 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
He’s a great player, Coolman said of the 6-foot-10 Lyles, who is still undecided on his college choice.
His size, but also his skill-set, just sets him apart. Not many guys can do what he can do.
South Side vs. Snider, 6:15 p.m. Boys finals
Northrop vs. Concordia, 8:15 p.m.