SYRACUSE – Taking on the 2A No. 1 Central Noble Cougars, the Warriors of Wawasee punched back every time they were knocked down in a close contest that came down to the wire. With the game tie through three quarters, it was the Warriors inability to score the ball in the fourth quarter that doomed the team in a 40-34 loss. Wawasee’s record now sits at 3-5 this season, while Central Noble improves to 8-0.

Fresh off of a close 52-50 loss to Columbia City Tuesday night, the Warriors picked up where they left off, scoring a majority of their first quarter points off of the three ball, nine of their eleven points. The back and forth contest never saw one team take too large of an advantage, with three lead changes in the first quarter, seven in the first half.

In a game that was largely dictated by the defensive effort displayed by both sides, each team’s best offensive player had quiet first halves. Wawasee senior Keaaton Dukes, fresh off of a 29-point game against Columbia City, was held to just six point in the first half, nine for the game. Central Noble senior and Wisconsin Badger commit Connor Essegian had just five first half points, though he would come alive in the second, finishing with 14.

As was the theme of the game, points remained hard to come by in the 3rdquarter. With the Warriors trailing by three and time winding down, freshman Myles Everingham drilled a huge three to tie up the game. That would be the last Warrior bucket for the next seven minutes, as the Wawasee would go scoreless for the first 7:10 of the final period while the Cougars jumped out to a seven-point advantage. The deficit would be too large to overcome, and Central Noble would remain undefeated.

The Warriors play their next game Wednesday when they host the Wawasee tournament.