FORT WAYNE – Its where it all began for Northrop senior Bryson Scott, but that doesnt mean thats where he wants it to end.
So the Purdue recruit and Mr. Basketball candidate made sure that didnt happen as the Bruins got a gritty 58-46 win in the opening game of the Carroll Class 4A sectional Tuesday.
Scott grew up playing in the Carroll feeder system before going to Northrop as a freshman.
It is always exciting when I come in here, Scott said. There are so many of my friends over there in Neon Nation (Carrolls student section). I always want to play my best and have my team win.
Scott led Northrop with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Scott now has 1,964 career points in his pursuit of 2,000.
We had some jitters coming out because we are seniors, and we dont want to lose this soon, Scott said. We were playing tight, and as the game progressed we loosened up, started to execute and play better defense down the stretch.
Northrop, the three-time SAC tournament champions, came into the postseason limping with four close losses in its last five games.
We have been struggling to close out ballgames, and we just couldnt pull them out at the end, Scott said. We are more prepared to pull out close ones now.
Northrop (17-7) plays SAC champion North Side (14-5) in the sectional semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday. The Redskins beat the Bruins 65-59 in the regular season.
I have been preparing for this one (vs. North Side) for a while, Scott said. Thats why we wanted to take care of Carroll quick, and (play) North Side. I am ready for that one.
Brenton Scott added 13 points, and Jacob Claypool had 10.
Northrop outscored Carroll 31-20 in the second half, including 20-10 in the fourth.
When you have seniors playing their first sectional game, it is just a different feel, Northrop coach Barak Coolman said.
It is great to get that under their belt. It is the emotions of a first sectional game, and we weathered that storm. We kind of wore them out in the fourth.
For Carroll (9-14), Chandler White had 12 points, while Keller Gutierrez added 11.
The Chargers led 17-11 after the first quarter, then 22-15 early in the second. The Bruins went on a 10-0 run to take a 25-22 lead. They led 27-26 at halftime.
Northrop led 38-36 after three quarters and pushed the lead into double figures with the help of a 9-2 run to start the fourth.
We could have gotten a double-digit lead in the second period, we could have dictated the tempo even more, and we couldnt convert, Carroll coach Marty Beasley said. In the fourth quarter, the wheels just fell off.