LOGANSPORT – Northrop got the better of Carmel for a half while Zionsville's Isaiah Thompson immediately did damage against Huntington North, but both the Bruins and the Vikings were ultimately eliminated in the semifinal round of the Class 4A Logansport regional on Saturday.
Northrop (16-9) fell 58-42 to No. 1 Carmel (23-1) in the day's first semifinal, but it was the Bruins, not the Greyhounds, that looked like the one-loss team in the early-going.
Isaac Anderson and Qualen Pettus got the ball rolling for Northrop in the day's first quarterfinal, quickly building an 11-3 first-quarter lead while Carmel threw the ball away and missed questionable shots. Sydney Curry got in on the action in the second quarter, scoring the first five points of the second period as part of a 10-0 run that gave the Bruins a 21-9 lead. Curry single-handedly outrebounded Carmel in the first half, with nine boards to the Greyhounds' six, and even after a short Carmel run Northrop lead 24-16 going into halftime.
But Northrop coach Rod Chamble said the Bruins faltered on defense coming out of the break, as Carmel outscored Northrop 24-9 to in the third quarter.
"The second half came, and the kids just kind of laid back, waiting for them to miss instead of initiating the defense," Chamble explained.
Carmel's John Michael Mulloy opened the second half with old-fashioned 3-point plays on consecutive possessions, and the Greyhounds tied and then took the lead for good on a 10-0 run soon after.
And while Carmel, which had shot just under 30 percent in the first half, doubled it's shooting percentage to 58.8 percent in the second, the Bruins' shooting fell off drastically, making just three of 21 attempts from the field.
"Our guys were just rushing," Chamble said. "We've been preaching since sectionals (about) taking our time, being patient, running an offense. If you notice, we were passing the ball three or four times in the beginning, trying to just set up the offense. In the second half, it was one-two-early shot. Once the kids started doing that, what happened was it through us out of rhythm, and our defense couldn't get set."
Senior Sydney Curry finished his final high school game with 12 points and 16 rebounds along with two blocked shots. Pettus, a junior, led the Bruins with 14 points.
Karsten Windlan was Carmel's leading scorer with 19 points.
In the second semifinal, Huntington North's Trey Williams opened the game with two early 3-pointers that got the crowd rocking, but Purdue commit Isaiah Thompson soon made himself the star of the show. Off-kilter jump shots, deep 3-pointers, three straight free throws after being fouled outside the arc, he made them all to reel off eight straight points and give the Eagles (21-5) a lead they would not relinquish, beating Huntington North 52-41.
Thompson finished with a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds, scoring 18 of those points in the first 10 minutes of the game.
"I'll be honest with you, the first three 3's he hit in the first half were contested," Huntington North coach Craig Teagle said. "The one in front of me was actually touched, the shot was contested pretty well. He's just so good. That's why he's playing Division I basketball. I don't think there's anything else we could really do."
The Vikings (22-5) did not allow Thompson to score another field goal after the first 10 minutes of the game, but he did make six of seven free throw attempts, while his teammates shot 63.6 percent from the floor in the second half. That was just enough to keep the Eagles comfortably ahead, leading by as much as 18 points late in the fourth quarter.
"They out-physicaled us, definitely, in the paint," Vikings senior Sawyer Stoltz said. "I thought we could have been a lot stronger, but like coach says, that comes down to the sophomores and juniors getting back in the weight room, and the senior group showing them that we could compete with them."
Stoltz led the Vikings with 12 points, and Zach Daugherty scored nine.
The loss ended the Vikings' longest post-season run since 2001.