Second Half Comeback Falls Short For Northwestern

Despite a rough season, Northwestern girls’ basketball coach Aaron Stewart took something away from the second half of their game last week against the league leaders from Ben Logan.

After falling behind by nearly 20 at halftime, the Warriors outplayed the Raiders in the second half in their 52-38 loss. It was the little things that Stewart can take away from a loss against a strong team like Ben Logan.

“It has been a struggle all year, we put ourselves in a hole and we outscored and outplaced them in the second half,” Stewart said. “We are battling for two quarters and it is tough. I try to keep in mind the inexperience and we are thin anyway.”

“A lot of kids playing a lot of minutes. We didn’t give up and battled in the second half. We had 11 turnovers in the first half and only 17 for the game.”

Ben Logan led 33-14 at the half, but the Warriors outscored the Raiders 12-9 in the third period and 12-10 in the fourth.

Northwestern watched as the league’s top player Nikki Current score 20 points in the first half, but Stewart also watched as his team struggle out of the gate in the game.

“Nikki is a great player and used her basketball IQ to get steals and finish layups,” Stewart said. ”She can finish at the rim and we didn’t keep her out of the paint in the first half.”

“We started out slow and missed several layups in the game. We missed a lot of shots early and dug a hole to try to get out of.”

Northwestern came out in the second half a different team, and tried to make a comeback.

“The girls came out with a fight in them and we did a fairly good job rebounding, being outsized,” Stewart said. “We needed to contain the defensive boards and we did a good job of that.” Stewart also praised his kids for shutting down Current in the second half, holding her to only four points in the final 16 minutes.

“It has been a long process and the girls may be starting to learn from each other,” Stewart said. “Out of the ten on varsity other than Zerkle and Martin, the rest are JV from last year. Every game this year we played two good quarters, we just can’t string four together, which comes from inexperience and mental toughness of game.”

Zerkle led with Northwestern with 20, she according to Stewart, she will have to score at least 50% of their points.

“She has been doing that every night,” the Northwestern coach said. “If she keeps it going, she should get her 1,000th point for us.”

Current finished with 24 for Ben Logan.

Northwestern is now 2-11, and plays at Greenon tonight, home tomorrow against Madison Plains, and home Saturday vs Urbana.

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