KENDALLVILLE – Carroll coach Marty Beasley never talked to his team this week about exorcising the demons of three straight years of losing to Northrop in the sectionals. His team’s defense then made sure those demons remained a secret.
We never mentioned it, Beasley said Friday night after his Chargers defeated the Bruins 55-34 in a semifinal of the East Noble Class 4A Sectional. This is a new year, and we try to just talk about this year and only this year. You can’t live in the past, you can’t predict the future, so you might as well live in the present.
The Chargers’ present now includes a matchup at 7:30 tonight with No. 4 North Side (23-1) for the sectional championship. The Redskins won their 13th straight game earlier Friday by rolling over East Noble 85-44.
They’re very good, they’re definitely a state contender, Beasley said of North Side. I just hope that we come out and we’re able to compete against them somewhat and are able to give them a challenge.
The Chargers (15-8), winners of eight of their last 10, earned a shot at their first sectional title since 2010 by holding Northrop to a season-low 34 points on 31 percent shooting while forcing 18 turnovers.
Northrop (8-13), sectional champions the last three years, controlled tempo and the lead for the first 12 minutes with Jacoby Claypool’s transition basket making it 14-12. It was the last time the Bruins led.
Kyle Mallers scored in the lane to tie it at 14, then Chandler White scored the first of his game-high 14 points with a free throw and a 3-pointer to key a 14-3 Carroll run to end the half ahead 26-17.
We did a very nice job early, but then we got away from our game plan a little bit, Northrop coach Barak Coolman said. Once it got sped up and we didn’t make some shots, then it got away from us. Carroll is a really good team and did a great job. If we had been able to make a few more shots early and built a little more of a cushion, then it might have been different.
Northrop went the first four minutes of the third quarter without a point but pulled within seven in the final minute with two 3-pointers. But White scored on a layup at the buzzer to make it 37-28.
The Chargers stretched their lead in a perfect final quarter, hitting all five field goals and eight free-throw attempts.
Jeremy Kalonji added 10 points, and all five Carroll starters scored at least seven points.
Anton Berry led the Bruins with seven.