MIDDLEBURY – A game of streaks, beginning with a 10-0 Northridge first quarter run had Warsaw Tigers down 17-5 in first quarter at Northridge High School’s intimate but noisy gym.

Although the Tigers made three impressive runs in the beginning of the second and third quarters, that early hurdle was hard to clear. The Tigers fell to 8-3 overall an 1-1 in the Northern Lakes Conference in a 59-55 loss to the Northridge Raiders.

The Raiders’ win was unusual because only three players scored for them throughout the entire game. Carter Stoltzfus (24 points), Sam Smits (21 points), and Alex Stauffer (14 points) combined for all of the Raiders offensive output.

The Tigers first attempt at a comeback run came at the beginning of the second quarter, trailing 20-8, running off a 12-2 stretch to get within two points of the hosts, 22-20 at 4:19 in the second quarter. Northridge put together another run, 12-7 to take a 34-27 halftime lead into the locker room.

Ogle said, regarding the Raider run, “We would climb back in the game and not be smart, not be solid, and eventually ran out of time. I thought Northridge played well, their defense was good, they pressured.”

Northridge’s game plan was to employ a man-to-man defense and the Raiders denied almost any penetration inside by Warsaw in the opening quarter. The 6’7” Stauffer was moving end to end on the baseline with help from 6’3” Camden Knepp.

The Tigers next run at the start of the third quarter followed an Elvin Hayes-like turnaround fadeaway by Smith as the Raiders drew first blood and took a 36-27 lead. Blake Marsh hit a 3-point shot, and followed with another bucket. Luke Adamiec added a basket to use the 7-0 run to put Warsaw within two, 36-34.

Raider head coach Scott Radeker knew what Marsh could bring to the hardwood.

“We saw Marsh and what he did against Lake Central, so we knew what Warsaw can do. We knew they were capable of making runs of their own.”

Again, the Raiders retaliated with a run of their own finishing the third quarter with 43-37 lead following their 7-3 stretch.

The Tigers used their final streak to close within 2 points, 53-51, with Marsh hitting two straight three-point baskets as the game whittled down to the 2:11 mark. His eleven points all came in the second half. Keagan Larsh started the run with 5:45 in the final stanza with two inside baskets, one a three-point play as he drew a foul after a score against the outstretched arms of Northridge’s Stauffer.

A turnaround, fadeaway jumper by Adamiec, who co-led the Tiger scoring with Marsh adding 11 points of his own, put the Tigers within 3, 56-53 with 20.6 seconds remaining. Northridge closed out the out the win at the free throw line, and the Tigers did not keep track of Stauffer and Smith.

The Tigers shot 21 of 49 (43%) from the field, and 8 of 20 form the arc. The Tigers had numerous close-range shots they could not make, including second chance opportunities among 10 offensive rebounds.

This was a sore point for Ogle.

“This game tonight shows us we need to become a more solid basketball team. We did not shoot well in the basket area. We did not finish and that hurt us.”

The Tigers outrebounded their opponent 32-24, but the Raiders shot 57% in the first half and 46% for the game to keep the Tigers on the wrong end of the score all evening.

Other notable efforts for Warsaw included Jaylen Coon (9 points, 3 offensive rebounds), 1 blocked shot, Wyatt Amiss (8 points, 8 rebounds), and Bishop Walters (8 points, 1 blocked shot). Keagan Larsh (5 points in the aforementioned fourth quarter run), Brock Poe (2 points) and Ben Bergen (1 point) rounded out the scoring.

The Tiger junior varsity had better luck, winning 40-25 and improving their record to 8-2 behind the steady, efficient Juda Simfukwe’s 11 points, and 9 and 8 points respectively from big-men Kyle Dawson (6’5”) and Graydon Brath (6”11”).

The Tigers host a conference tilt Friday against the Goshen RedHawks.