The Northwestern High School boys basketball team improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Heart O’ North Conference with a 48-45 win over Cumberland (2-1, 0-1) Tuesday night.
The Tigers struggled early, turning the ball over on four of its first five possessions. Cumberland took advantage and attacked the paint to take a 7-0 lead before Nolan Graff finally got the Tigers their first points on a pair of free throws.
Justin Alexson then cut the Beavers’ lead to 10-5 with a 3-pointer near the 3-minute mark, and two more 3-pointers — one from Dylan Jardine and another from Alexson — put Northwestern within one point. Jardine gave the Tigers their first lead of the game, 13-12, with an offensive rebound and put-back.
Cumberland opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer by Eric Turcott to reclaim the lead, 15-13, but from there the Tigers went on an 8-0 run to lead 21-15. Highlighting Northwestern’s run was a 3-pointer by Grant Pearson and a pair of layups in transition from Zak Anttila, assisted both times by Matt Hlina.
The Beavers, led by Brady Rose and Turcott, chipped away to tie the game at 23-23 with 1:16 left in the first half and then scored four unanswered points to lead 27-23 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Cumberland built a seven-point lead before the Tigers went on a 9-0 run to bring the teams nearly even again.
Neither team led by more than four points in the final quarter, and the score was tied at 41-41 with two minutes to play.
Jardine broke the tie with 1:43 to play when he drove baseline from the left side, was fouled and completed a 3-point play to put the Tigers up 44-41. Micah Olson made it a two-possession game 25 seconds later when he got position on the defensive glass for an over-the-back call and made one free throw in the one-and-one bonus.
With 30 seconds to play, the Tigers turned the ball over under intense pressure from Cumberland, but Jardine snagged a mishandled ball to return possession to Northwestern.
Following a timeout, Graff was quickly fouled and went to the line for the one-and-one bonus. He made both shots to put Northwestern up 47-44.
Cumberland’s Adam Bielmeier drew a shooting foul of his own with 14 seconds to play and made one shot to cut it to 47-45.
The Beavers again committed another quick foul to send Alexson to the free-throw line to shoot two, and the senior made one of two shots to keep it a one-possession game.
Cumberland’s 3-point attempt on its final possession came up short, and the Tigers held on to win 48-45.
Northwestern 13 10 11 14 — 48
Cumberland 12 15 8 10 — 45
Northwestern — Dylan Jardine 14, Nolan Graff 9, Justin Alexson 7, Grant Pearson 6, Zak Anttila 4, Brayden Bartelt 4, Michah Olson 4.
3-point goals — Alexson 2, Graff, Olson, Jardine.
Cumberland — Brady Rose 13, Adam Bielmeier 11, Eric Turcott 6, Marcus Taylor 6, Tim Carlson 5, Vaughn Waite 4.
3-point goals — Bielmeier 2, Rose 2, Turcott, Carlson.
Northwestern 77, Washburn 37
The Tigers opened their season Friday with a 77-37 win over the Washburn Castle Guards.
Northwestern overwhelmed the Castle Guards with strong shooting from the perimeter, making five 3-pointers in the first quarter to take a 26-5 lead. The Tigers went on to add three more 3-pointers in the second quarter and finished the game with 11 shots from behind the arc.
Leading the way for Northwestern were seniors Alexson and Graff, with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Brayden Bartelt, a sophomore, also finished in double figures with 10 points.
The Tigers host Ladysmith at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a HON Conference game.
opened Heart O’ North Conference play Tuesday, hosting a game with the Cumberland Beavers.
Northwestern 26 15 17 19 — 77
Washburn 5 15 8 9 — 37
Northwestern — Justin Alexson 15, Nolan Graff 14, Brayden Bartelt 10, Grant Pearson 9, Dylan Jardine 8, Michah Olson, 6, Wes Ogren 5, Matt Hlina 4, Zak Anttila 4, Trevor Paulus 2.
3-point goals — Graff 3, Pearson 2, Bartelt 2, Olson 2, Alexson, Ogren.
Washburn — Tyler Vernon 8, Jacob Tomlinson 8, Josh Truchon 8, Jordan Holman 6, Robert Wilkins 5, Bryce Guski 2.
3-point goals — Vernon 2, Holman.