The Norwalk Warriors (9-2) sank Newton Senior High (4-8) on Friday night in one of the most spectacular displays of three point shooting imaginable. Norwalk started hot and kept it going until late in the game, giving the Cardinals almost no chance of recovering until the final buzzer mercifully sounded with the final score 50-30.
It was really a matter of pick your poison from the onset of the game. Norwalk trotted out a starting lineup that is anchored by 6-foot, 8-inch Carson Miller. Newton, lacking the size and depth to guard Miller one-on-one, came out in a zone and Norwalk's shooters made them pay, hitting eight of their first 10 shots from beyond the arch.
Coach Nick Wilkins, whose frustration with the officiating culminated in a technical foul halfway through the third quarter, expressed his frustrations after the game.
"In all honesty we executed our gameplan. You know you got a 6'-foot 8-inch 250 kid that they're going to let do whatever he wants," Wilkins said. "In my opinion I don't think the calls exactly went our way, but that's not why we lost. We were gonna play the percentages."
Norwalk's team came into this game shooting around 40 percent from three this season, while Miller boasts a nearly 55 percent shooting.
Despite Norwalk starting out hot, the game was really contentious early. The Warriors came out and banged home three straight 3-pointers pulling out in front 9-0. Newton rallied, however, and a three pointer at the first quarter buzzer by Tyler Wood appeared to give the Cardinals momentum going forward.
Unfortunately for Newton it was a short lived boost. The Warriors were only beginning to catch fire. Four different Warriors had hit at least one long distance shot and they had the Cardinals doubled up on the scoreboard, 26-13 at halftime.
Newton's leading scorer sophomore Tyler Wood pressed the issue on offense early in the second half, but after watching another two three pointers hit bottom there wasn't much that could be done.
With the surge of offense from Norwalk, Newton's young core of players may have been pressing a little too much to keep pace, resulting in tough and often forced shots. It was a physical game, and a tough one for Newton without the size to matchup. Even though size was a major issue, Newton played bump for bump with Norwalk down low only losing the rebound battle 24-18 and actually pulling in five offensive rebounds to Norwalk's four.
"Our kids played hard the whole time. We handled the pressure," Wilkins said. "They were physical with us and we were coming off screens and we were getting bumped. We handled it. We didn't go falling around. We stayed tough."
The Cardinals should be revved up and ready to go for their game on Tuesday at Pella Christian as they look to avenge a narrow loss to the Eagles at home.