Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

Eva Fisher of Northridge gives chase to Warsaw junior Kensie Ryman during the second quarter of Saturday’s game on the Grace College campus.
Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union Eva Fisher of Northridge gives chase to Warsaw junior Kensie Ryman during the second quarter of Saturday’s game on the Grace College campus.
WINONA LAKE — Warsaw’s latest girls basketball victory came with comebacks.

The Tigers climbed out of a 9-0 hole in the first quarter and watched a 20-point lead in the fourth period shrink to four before securing a 62-55 Northern Lakes Conference triumph against Northridge.

“We showed some fight,” said Warsaw coach Lenny Krebs. “I’m proud of how the kids responded.

“We’ve just got to get better at protecting a lead.” The Tigers took a 47-27 lead into the fourth period then saw the Raiders cut the margin to 58-54 with with 2:18 to go before regaining control.

Every chance Krebs had he was telling his team to stay aggressive.

“We want to play to win,” said Krebs. “We don’t want to play not to lose. That was the difference.” Krebs noted that only Fort Wayne Carroll came flying back at the Tigers during the 2019-20 season after getting into a large deficit.

“This is a learning experience for our kids,” said Krebs. “What an improved team Northridge is. I’ve got to give Coach (Doug) Springer and that entire program credit.” Warsaw (11-6, 3-1) triumphed for the seventh time in its previous eight outings in a game played at Grace College’s Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center because of wet floor conditions at the Tiger Den.

Employing a 1-3-1 trap defense with Audrey Grimm at the point, Warsaw saw the Raiders commit 26 turnovers.

“She’s absolutely amazing,” said Krebs of Grimm’s ability to deflect and steal in that coverage. “I don’t know if she’s one of those old Strength Armstrong dolls like I used to have, but her arms get out there.

“She made a huge difference for us tonight just turning the momentum and getting things going.” Krebs said the 1-3-1 trap forced the pace on Northridge.

“It’s hard to regain your compose when you get int that hurry-up mode,” said Krebs. “You saw that for us in the fourth quarter for us when they started pressuring us.

“The first half, especially, we trapped hard and rotated quick. As we got fatigued, some of those rotations and traps slowed down. That’s what you saw in the second half. We didn’t get where we needed to go quite as quickly.

“That’s a difficult defense to prepare for. For years, I never played 1-3-1. We finally put it in this year. Fortunately, we have the personnel to play it.” Springer said ball handling is the key for his young team.

“We are a team that turns the basketball over in bunches,” said Springer. “When we take care of the basketball, we are a really good team.” Leading scorers for the Tigers were Kaylee Patton (14 points), Brielle Harrison (12), Grimm (11) and Kendall Wayne (11).

Krebs said his squad also learned how effective it can be on offense when it goes inside to free up some shooting from the perimeter.

Warsaw dropped in three 3-ponters — two by Wayne and one by Ryman — and had several other mid-range attempts find the mark.

Juliana Weaver (17), Makena Knepp (15) and Colleen Miller (10) paced the Raiders in scoring.

The Tigers now lead 31-8 in the all-time series.

Elkhart Memorial visits Wawasee and NorthWood goes to Northridge and Wawasee, both Friday, Jan. 17.

In junior varsity action Saturday, Northridge defeated Warsaw 29-25.

Eva Fisher (10 points) paced the JV Raiders (12-6). Zoe Bergan (5) and Marin Hart (5) led the JV Tigers (9-8).


N   13   10    4    28—55

W  17   17    13 15—62

Northridge –  Makena Knepp 7-9 0-0 15, Jaci Walker 1-9 4-4 6, Juliana Weaver 5-9 7-9 17, Colleen Miller 3-3 2-3 10, Maddy Wienert 1-3 0-0 3, Kayla Pippenger 0-1 0-0 0, Brylee Froman 0-1 1-2 1, Eva Fisher 1-1 1-1 3, Julia Mantyla 0-1 0-0 0, Erin Mahaffa 0-0 0-0 0. Team: 18-37 15-19 55.

Warsaw – Kacilyn Krebs 0-4 3-4 3, Kaylee Patton 3-6 8-8 14, Abby Sanner 3-6 0-0 6, Brielle Harrison 4-8 4-7 12, Kensie Ryman 2-4 0-0 5, Audrey Grimm 4-6 3-6 11, Kendall Wayne 4-8 1-3 11. Team: 20-42 19-28 62.

Three-pointers – Northridge 4 (Miller 2, Wienert 1, Knepp 1), Warsaw 3 (Wayne 2, Ryman 1); Rebounds – Northridge 22 (Miller 7), Warsaw 33 (Patton 7, Ryman 7, Sanner 6); Fouls – Northridge 22, Warsaw 14; Fouled out – Weinert, 1:17, fourth quarter, Ryman, 5:01, fourth quarter; Records – Northridge 7-13 (2-2 NLC), Warsaw 11-6 (3-1 NLC).

JV — Northridge 29, Warsaw 25. Northridge — Eva Fisher 10, Julia Mantyla 6, Tess Baylis 5, Brienne Tadeo 5; Warsaw — Zoe Bergan 5, Marin Hart 5.