Boys basketball

Valpo boys can't handle hot New Prairie

2013-12-13T21:45:00Z 2013-12-14T02:01:14Z Valpo boys can't handle hot New PrairiePaul Jankowski Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
December 13, 2013 9:45 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | For the first time Friday night, New Prairie traveled to Viking Gym to face Valparaiso in a boys varsity basketball game.

The Cougars probably wouldn't mind playing there again, as they shot lights out on their way to a 62-50 minor upset over the Vikings.

New Prairie (2-1) gave first-year coach Tim Scott his first win over a Duneland Athletic Conference school by making 20 of 35 field-goal attempts (57.1 percent), including 10 of 14 3-pointers (71.4 percent).

"We got hot," Scott said. "It's what we did all summer and we get to see it in practice, but not all the time in games. But we tend to do that."

Senior guard Noah Shail led the charge off the bench for the Cougars, scoring 18 points which included 3-of-3 3-pointers. Juniors Jason Webb (14 points) and Jared Monhaut (13 points) also were hot from the perimeter, with Webb making 2 of 4 and Monhaut 3 of 4 from the arc.

"When things are going right (for Monhaut) and he's feeling it, look out," Scott said. "You can see him go a couple games with two to five points, and then he'll get 18 or 20 in a half. He's been like that since sixth grade."

Valpo (2-3) fell behind 7-0 early after committing turnovers on their first three possessions and forcing coach Matt Thomas to burn a quick timeout.

The Vikings proceeded to dig their way out of a hole the rest of the half, narrowing the gap to 26-24 at the break on a late Justin Osburn 3-pointer.

Valpo was able to forge a couple ties early in the third, as Osburn took over offensively on his way to a game-high 21 points. But the Cougars didn't flinch, as Monhaut, Webb and Shail each hit two 3-pointers in the quarter to build a 46-37 lead.

The Vikings were in catch-up mode the rest of the night, but the Cougars simply pulled away.

"It's surprising when anyone hits six 3's in a row," said Thomas, whose team has dropped three in a row. "But some of this is on us, and I don't just mean the players -- I mean on me."

The Vikings committed eight first-half turnovers, also a problem in last Friday's loss to Penn. Osburn was the only Viking in double figures, as Drew Paul added eight points and senior Mitch Wszolek came off the bench to score five.

"We just have to get back to basics," Thomas said. "There's been so much focus on implementing the new sysem, but it's time to focus on taking care of the ball, guarding people and boxing out.

"This is going to take some time, though. It's not going to happen over night."

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