Boys basketball

Bishop Noll falls in regional semifinals

2014-03-15T17:00:00Z 2014-03-17T14:33:15Z Bishop Noll falls in regional semifinalsAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
March 15, 2014 5:00 pm  • 

NORTH JUDSON | This was supposed to be the championship game, Saturday's Class 2A regional semifinal between Bishop Noll and Westview.

The winner in 86 of its last 93 games, Noll came in allowing 48.8 ppg.

Westview was on a nine-game roll, giving up 48.1 ppg., and had won 83 of its last 100 outings.

Once the dust cleared and the huge crowd at North Judson had cleared out, Noll was boarding its team bus a 75-64 loser in double overtime.

"We tried our best," said sophomore guard Roman Penn, fighting back tears. "Hopefully, we can get back here next year."

Shooting for its fifth regional title and the first since 2008, Westview struggled for 3 1/2 quarters against Noll before ending the fourth on a 15-3 run to force OT at 53-53.

That gave the visitors from Amish country new hope and a second wind to outscore Noll 19-8 in the second overtime.

Westview (21-4) put it away at the line, hitting 13 of 16 free throws and was 28 of 38 for the game.

Noll struggled again, finishing 7 of 18.

"That's been the case all year," Warriors coach Josh Belluomini said

Larry Crisler led Noll (21-4) with 23 points and five rebounds, Marquis Tarver had 18 points and Penn added nine.

"It's not an easy road," Penn said. "You have to work hard every day and not make mistakes or it's over.

"On that (late) run, we didn't communicate well as a group and our shots weren't dropping."

Despite a game-high 22 turnovers, scrappy Westview gained more confidence with every possession in the extra periods.

Forward Chandler Aspy did his best Mike Dunleavy, leaving the game briefly in the fourth quarter with a nasty gash over his left eye. His return ignited the crowd on the way to a 24-point, 10-rebound performance by the 6-foot-3 junior.

Westview center Judah Zickafoose spent much of the first half in foul trouble, but was huge in the fourth period with nine of his 17 points and 12 boards.

Jamar Weaver scored half his 14 points in the second OT. Jordyn Bontrager had 10 of his 14 points in the second half.

"They were very aggressive," Penn said of Aspy and Zickafoose. "They're good, offensively and defensively."

That fourth-quarter turnaround set Noll back on its heels, and any chances it had were dashed by its hurried shot selection in the decisive OT.

"We did such a good job at the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth of getting good shots," Belluomini said. "And then we couldn't.

"I told them all year that one bad game in the tournament and you're out. That's what happened."

Noll loses eight seniors off its 14-man tournament roster but Belluomini says the future remains bright.

"This is going to give us a lot of momentum going into next year," he said. "People think we're going to lose a lot but we have a lot of talent coming back."

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