FORT WAYNE – Northrop will indeed be going to the max this week.
With an 88-67 semifinal win Thursday over Snider, the Bruins advanced to the SAC tournament finals Saturday at Wayne and will now play five games in four days.
I am sure there is going to be some fatigue, but they would much rather play than practice, Northrop coach Barak Coolman said. I don’t see it as a huge obstacle. Come Saturday night, we will be a little sore and stiff but we still have to play the game.
Top-seeded Northrop will face No. 2 Concordia in the tournament title game at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at Wayne.
The Cadets beat Wayne 61-45 in the other boys semifinal.
I hope (the Bruins) come in tired, Concordia coach Josh Eggold said with a smile. It’s a long week for them for sure. This is a special tournament because all the kids in Fort Wayne turn out to watch each other play, and fatigue will not be an issue because they will push through that.
The championship game is a great atmosphere every year. Northrop is extremely talented, and they are great in transition. They have a couple of guys (Bryson and Brenton Scott) who can turn turnovers into points really quick.
The Bruins (8-1) have won the last two SAC tournament titles, and three in a row would match the school’s tournament record set from 1983 to ’85. Only two other schools have won three straight SAC tourney titles, Bishop Luers (2007-09) and South Side (1994-96).
We have a lot of basketball before we get to the championship game, but you can’t win a championship unless you advance to the (final) game, Coolman said.
Before a three-peat can be achieved, the Bruins will play in the Hall of Fame Classic today in New Castle. Northrop plays Indianapolis Tech at 2:15 p.m., with a 7:30 p.m. consolation game or 9:15 p.m. championship game against Jay County or Indianapolis Cathedral. The Bruins opened the SAC tournament with a 76-71 victory Wednesday.
My coaches are thinking about conserving energy for me but I am always trying to be in the game, that’s just the type of person I am, Bryson Scott said of the tough stretch. They are going to do what’s best for me and my teammates so we can go down (to New Castle) and perform and then come back here Saturday.
The Bruins also helped the program set the all-time SAC tournament record with 54 wins, breaking a tie with South Side.
It is such a testament to the guys who came before us that made Northrop basketball what it is, Coolman said. To be a part of that is special. But we don’t want to just win the most games, but we want to add another number to that.
Bryson Scott led the Bruins with 33 points Thursday, while Brenton Scott added 27 and Cory Womack 10. Bryson Scott’s 33 points is tied for the 11th best single-game output in SAC tourney history.
Fifth-seeded Snider (4-2) got 23 points from Trey’von Covington, 14 from Leeander Williams and 11 from Devlyn Williams.
In the final semifinal game, Concordia (9-0) led 31-18 at halftime, and No. 6 Wayne (6-2) was down 51-45 in the fourth before Concordia pulled away.
D.J. McCall had 16 points for the Cadets, while Thomas Starks added 15 and Ryan Gross had 12. Levi Mitchell led Wayne with 16 points.