Photo by Gary Nieter/Times-Union
Warsaw sophomore Jaxon Gould launches a three-pointer during the first quarter of Friday night's home game against Northridge. Gould notched a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Photo by Gary Nieter/Times-Union Warsaw sophomore Jaxon Gould launches a three-pointer during the first quarter of Friday night's home game against Northridge. Gould notched a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Warsaw Tigers employed an effective triangle-and-two defense and some early sharpshooting to knock off the Northridge Raiders at home last night.

 The result was a 52-37 win for the orange and black, as they upended the NLC defending champs, also this year’s preseason favorites, in the Tiger Den last night.

Northridge’s Carter Stoltzfus and Sam Smith, who shot the lights out throughout the Raiders’ 20-5 NLC and sectional championship campaigns last year, were held to a combined 9 for 27 (33%), including a paltry 4 for 15 beyond the arc; the spot they hurt opponents the most.

Tiger head coach Matt Moore commented on the defensive effort, saying, “We triangled-and-two. It’s one of my staples. They’re a tough team to play against because they change defenses often. I thought when you get a lead like we did it makes it a little difficult for them to dictate pace. Our triangle and two took about a quarter and a half to get comfortable, and that gave us a chance to stretch that lead out.”

Warsaw held its guests scoreless until there were 29 ticks left on the opening quarter clock, ending the first frame with a 12-2 lead. The Tigers were led in that quarter by Ben Bergen’s three buckets beyond the arc in the opening frame. Bergen went on to finish with 15 points, topping his previous career high of 12 points Thanksgiving weekend against Columbia City earlier this season.

Warsaw hit two more treys to roll out to an 18-2 early second quarter lead before the Raiders briefly found a groove toward a 15-3 run, and suddenly the ballgame was close as the halftime buzzer sounded, the Tigers leading 21-17. Neither team had a free throw attempt in the first half.

Clay Stoltzfus hit a three-point bucket to open the third period, whittling the Tiger lead to one, 21-20 before the Tigers shut out the Raiders with the triangle and two defense on a 13-0 run to stretch their lead back to double digits, 34-20.

The two NLC rivals switched buckets, and Warsaw capitalized on opportunities at the charity stripe to outscore Northridge 18-1 in the final stanza to secure the 52-37 NLC win.

Moore commented on the favorable direction Warsaw took in last night’s ballgame, saying, “I really enjoy coaching this team. Are we trending the right way? A year ago we were 8-1 and Northridge was 5-5. (Northridge) got together and made a run (15 straight wins). If we do things the right way, there’s no reason that can’t be us. How you handle success says a lot about you.”



A remarkable stat was sophomore guard Jaxon Gould’s 11 defensive rebounds in the defense employed by the Tigers in the win.



Moore said, “When you’re zoned up like that, and he was in the triangle most of the time, we talked about going to get the first miss.”



Gould’s 11 caroms represented the first double-digit rebounding effort by any Warsaw Tiger yet this season.



The Tiger defense held the Raiders to 15 of 52 (29%) shooting for the evening including stifling the opponents beyond the arc where Northridge only hit 7 of 31 attempts (23%). The raiders were led in scoring among the efforts of Carter Stoltzfus (12 points), Clay Stoltzfus and Sam Smith (10 points apiece). 6’4” Jesse Ryman grabbed six offensive rebounds of the guests, who were outrebounded overall by their hosts 36-20. Northridge missed its only free throw attempt for the entire evening.



Warsaw scoring leaders were Gould (17 points), Bergen (15 points), and Judah Simfukwe (13 points, 7 rebounds). Jackson Dawson added 6 points on a 6 for 8 effort at the charity stripe along with seven boards, and Russ Winchester added a free throw for 1 point.



The orange and black shot 16 for 32 overall (50%) including 6 for 12 (50%) beyond the arc. The hit 14 of their 19 freebie attempts for 74%.



The JV Tigers (5-5, 1-1) fell to Northridge 39-36 led by Kyle Dawson (14 points, 7 boards), and Tayde Kizer (12 points). Tyler Kuhn dished out 5 assists for the JV squad.



The Tigers (6-5, 2-0) host a possible sectional foe Tuesday night when the Penn Kingsmen and a familiar face, head coach Al Rhodes, makes his first trip to the Tiger Den since he coached the Tigers in 2002.