FORT WAYNE – The Northrop boys basketball team had plenty of worries coming into Tuesday night’s game, namely agile Homestead guard Nick Gamble and his teammate, Caleb Swanigan, a 6-foot-7, 285-pound freshman forward.
But when the entire Homestead team started raining three-point shots, well, as Northrop senior Bryson Scott said: I was just scratching my head. Even the guys coming off the bench were giving them good minutes, making big shots.
But Northrop stayed the course and overcame a five-point halftime deficit to win 75-66 at Homestead, which had its two-year, 20-game home winning streak snapped.
We just came out in the third quarter and executed offensively, said Scott, the Purdue recruit, who had 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting. In the first half, we didn’t get the ball moving a lot. Once we got it moving and started executing, we started making our shots.
In the first half, the Spartans were paced by the long ball; they made 7 of 14 three-point attempts, led by senior Kyle Togashi’s 3-for-3 effort.
But the Bruins went on a 21-9 third-quarter run that began with a Scott three-pointer (he was 3 for 6 from beyond the arc) and ended with a reverse layup by his twin brother, Brenton, an Indiana State recruit.
Our shot selection was much better, so that was the first thing (in the third quarter), Bruins coach Barak Coolman said.
In the first half, our offense had been stagnant; we seemed to just want to dribble down and shoot. We challenged (our players) at halftime to share the ball and penetrate and kick, and that really just showed. We got guys open shots and spread things out. We made (the Spartans) have to chase us a little bit, and our energy was way better, too.
Brenton Scott had 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting, along with seven rebounds. Teammate Antonio Richmond, a senior, scored 15 points and junior Jacoby Claypool added 11.
The Bruins (16-6) had lost their previous three games to Concordia, Indianapolis Pike and Columbia City, respectively. Homestead (16-5) had won seven of its previous eight, losing only to New Haven.
We came out with a ton of energy and (outscored them 27-12) in that third quarter, Coolman said. It was our energy and our defense, which created some scoring opportunities.
The Bruins’ shooting improved from 44 percent in the first half to 61.5 in the second, while the Spartans went from 45.8 percent to 35.7 percent.
Homestead was led by 21 points and five assists from Gamble, a senior recruit of Davenport University, who was 3 for 7 from three-point range. The Spartans, as a whole, were 10 of 23.
Togashi had 11 points and Swanigan had 13 points and a game-best 12 rebounds.
The big kid inside really gave us some trouble, but we were able to make him work hard for everything, Coolman said of Swanigan.
The Bruins still outrebounded the Spartans 35-24.
That big guy (Swanigan), he’s massive down there, Brenton Scott said.
It takes three or four guys to try and block his shots, and he and Gamble are a good combo.