After a gut-punch 50-48 loss in the final seconds at Shelby on Friday snapped a seven-game win streak — the Norwalk boys basketball team was fast to move on 24 hours later.
The Truckers held visiting Northwestern (10-10) without a field goal in the second quarter of Saturday’s 54-39 non-league win at Norwalk High School. Norwalk won for the eighth time in nine games while improving to 11-8 overall, and snapped the Huskies’ five-game win streak as well.
“I thought defensively we were really good tonight,” Norwalk coach Steve Gray said. “Northwestern has the ability to put up a lot of points, and scored 77 (on Friday).
“We saw them twice and they scored over 60 both times,” he added. “I just thought defensively we were locked in.”
Norwalk took control of Saturday’s game from the start, as a Jacob Roth 3-pointer and two free throws and a basket by Garrett Chapin saw it open up a 12-5 lead.
The Truckers led 18-10 after one quarter — then hounded the Huskies (10-10) into 0-of-9 shooting for the eight minutes in the second quarter.
Northwestern was limited to three free throws in the second, while Chapin added four points, Roth drained another 3-pointer — and Brandon Haraway had a steal and slam dunk to put Northwestern down 26-13 with 2:26 left in the half.
Out of the timeout, the Truckers kept on the gas, as sophomore Kyler Lacy scored back-to-back baskets to put the lead at 30-13 — which is where it stood at halftime.
“It won’t show up in the statistics, but Matt and Eric did another great job tonight on defense,” Gray said. “They pressured the ball without fouling and got into passing lanes.
“Those two really helped make Northwestern run its offense way outside the three-point line away from the basket,” he added.
Northwestern scored on two of the first three possessions to begin the third quarter, but any comeback hopes were quickly silenced. Chapin and Lacy again teamed up for six straight points and helped build a 46-27 lead entering the final eight minutes.
Chapin finished with 12 points and eight rebounds for Norwalk, while Lacy had 11 points and eight rebounds. Haraway added 10 points and eight rebounds, as the trio combined to shoot 12-of-23 from the field.
Roth added eight points for the Truckers, who shot 20-of-44 (45 percent) from the floor as a team.
“It was good to see other kids step up,” Gray said. “I thought this was by far Kyler’s best all-around game of the year. He’s always defended, but he started looking to the basket and went to the rim strong.”
Norwalk (6-4 SBC Lake) hosts Sandusky (13-6, 8-3) on Friday. The Blue Streaks have clinched a share of the SBC Lake title, but a Norwalk win opens the door for a potential four-way title between the Blue Streaks, Truckers, Clyde and Shelby.
“We’re up to the challenge, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s another close game going into the last four minutes,” Gray said of the rematch. The Blue Streaks won the first meeting, 72-60, on Jan. 6 in Sandusky.
In the junior varsity game, the Truckers (11-7) trailed 38-34 with under a minute to go — but got a game-tying 3-pointer from Garrett Obringer to force overtime. Justin Sommers then scored the only two points of the OT with a short jumper with 59.2 seconds left, and Cobey Kromer got a steal in the closing seconds to preserve a 42-40 win.
Obringer finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, six steals and four assists, while Ryan Sowders had 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists — and Sommers scored 10 points.