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PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Wabash holds on for 50-45 regional win; knocking out Westview

Mar. 9—BOURBON — Trading buckets characterized a spirited second half Saturday, March 9 at the Triton regional, sending Wabash to a 50-45 win and knocking out Westview in the process.

Second-year Warriors head coach Chandler Prible felt his team did enough, but that the Apaches just had the answer to pull out the win.

"They're a really good basketball team," Prible said on Wabash. "Very fundamental, well-coached, well-disciplined and they shoot it really well. I don't think that we beat ourselves, I think they beat us and it came down to making shots and they just made more shots."

Westview shot 18-of-41 from the floor including a 3-of-14 mark from behind the arc. To counter, the Apaches finished 18-of-31 from the floor with an 8-of-13 showing from the 3-point line.

Wabash's high-scoring trio, who entered averaging 13 or more points a game, matched their season averages. Trevor Daughtry scored 16 points while Izaak Wright and Grant Ford both scored 13 to follow Daughtry.

Westview was led by senior Luke Helmuth, who battled foul trouble throughout the night but finished with 20 points.

"It seemed like he was getting caught up in some touchy foul situations and that's unfortunate but he fought through it," Prible said after Westview committed 18 fouls compared to Wabash's 11. "He was able to come back and carry us a little bit offensively."

Wabash shot 8-of-14 at the line compared to the Warriors 6-of-6 showing. It almost helped Westview knot the score towards the end.

With 40 seconds left on the clock and Wabash up 46-41, Wabash senior Alexander Dinkins missed four-consecutive shots from the foul line. On the other end, freshman guard Austin Schlabach recovered a missed 3-point attempt and completed the putback, now trailing 46-43 with 27 seconds to play.

Dinkins eventually made both of his next shots at the line and the Apaches held on following a pair of Westview misses before the final horn sounded.

"From a coaching perspective, we're proud of our effort," Prible said. "We felt like we couldn't have played any better, it just didn't go our way."

Westview was aiming for its first regional title since 2018. The Warriors lost in the regional round last season as well. They entered Saturday having won back-to-back consecutive sectional titles.

To begin the action in Bourbon, a packed crowd squeezed in with anticipation of the 2A tipoff. Wabash began it's 3-point attack with a pair before Westview's Kaden Grau hit a deep triple at the first quarter horn, holding a 9-6 lead.

After Wabash pulled in front 12-11, Helmuth responded with a string of four-straight points and a 15-12 Warrior lead. The physical Apaches man defense limited the ball going inside for Westview's offense. While the Warriors defense was equally ball-hawking, it was Wabash who controlled a low-scoring 21-17 ballgame at the half.

"It was more offensively, we just needed to get the ball inside more and we were kind of missing our guys whenever they came open," Prible said. "They were very physical defensively so that made it tougher on us too."

Westview pulled back in front in the third quarter. A pair of Wiley Minix triple sparked an offensive run that enabled the Warriors-heavy crowd to put the pressure on. Westview up 27-25 past the midway point of the third frame, the Apaches were forced to call a timeout.

Wabash, limited from the 3-point line in the second half, worked the ball inside with drives finishing at the rim. Entering the fourth quarter, it was 32-31 Apaches.

"They do a lot of really good screening and cutting action," Prible said. "When you have that many guys that shoot it well, it makes it hard to guard."

Maintaining a four-point lead, eventually Wabash pushed it to five, the largest lead for any team Saturday. While Westview brought it back to a one-possession game, it was too little, too late.

The rest of the scoring column for Westview was Grau (9 points), Minix (6), Schlabach (6) and Owen Brill (4).

Wabash's scoring was rounded out with five points from Dinkins and three from Kaden Vogel.

Helmuth, Minix, Wyatt Zepp, Wade Springer and Christien Noward make up the five seniors who will now depart Prible's roster. He commented on their impact.

"This group of seniors, they were apart of two sectional championships now in back-to-back years after a year in which they really struggled," Prible said. "It's just their work ethic. The amount of hours they put in the gym in the offseason, I mean, their trying to get in the gym during class. It shows to our younger kids all the way down to our youth program kids how much they need to be in the gym."

Westview ends the year 20-6 while Wabash moved to 21-5.

PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

IHSAA 2A Regional 17 at Triton High School

Westview — 9; 8; 14; 14 — 45

Wabash — 6; 15; 11; 18 — 50

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at matt.lucas@goshennews.com.