News From Terre Haute, Indiana

High School

February 16, 2014

North boys basketball hangs tough at Carmel until late

CARMEL — Most people will take a glance at the final score of Saturday afternoon’s boys high school basketball matchup between Terre Haute North and Carmel and think that the home-standing Greyhounds had an easy time of it.

Quite the opposite would be true.

Yes, the state’s top-ranked Class 4A team posted a 46-26 victory over coach Todd Woelfle‘s team. But in reality, the game wasn’t truly decided until the last quarter-and-a-half as Carmel’s outside-inside punch of junior guard Ryan Cline and senior forward Zach McRoberts finally got itself untracked.

McRoberts, a lanky 6-foot-6 front-court standout and the younger brother of NBA forward Josh McRoberts, finished with a game-high 16 points while also pulling down five rebounds.

Ten of his points came in the first half, however, allowing Carmel to take a 17-10 lead into the locker room at halftime.

It was a low-scoring first-half as Woelfle’s Patriots came out with a deliberate gameplan as they worked the clock and the ball in an effort to slow down the two-time defending state champions.

The ploy worked early on as North stayed within shouting distance for the first two quarters. Cline, one of the premier backcourt players in the state, was held to just two points in the first half, connecting on 1 of 4 field-goal attempts.

Charlie Aimone was the primary scoring threat for the Patriots over the initial two quarters, tossing in six points as he connected on two of four 3-point shot attempts.

Carmel coach Scott Heady made a few adjustments at halftime and started to get the ball inside to McRoberts early in the third quarter. He hit on two of his first three field-goal attempts, allowing the Greyhounds to push their lead to 31-15 heading into the fourth quarter.

Cline also began to find his offense, hitting a pair of 3-point shots, as Carmel outscored the Patriots 14-5 in the period.

As it turned out, that combination provided just enough offense to help the Greyhounds get past North the rest of the way. Cline’s seven fourth-quarter points helped Carmel to increase its lead over the game’s final minutes.

Sophomore Kobi Riley came off the bench to score seven fourth-quarter points for the Patriots. He led North in scoring while Keshuan Sandifer and Aimone added six points apiece. The 6-3, 250-pound Riley was impressive as he hit on three of his four field-goal attempts in the quarter.

“I thought we did a great job in the first half executing our gameplan,” Woelfle said afterward. “Carmel is ranked No. 1 in the state and back-to-back state champions for a reason. And that is because they value possessions. In the first half, I felt like we did a good job of that.

“We wanted to control tempo, bring them out of their back-line defense. And we were able to do that. We just missed a few shots or we would have been in a much better position. I still thought we were in a good position at halftime.”

Despite the loss, the North coach had no issues with the effort his team showed against the Greyhounds.

“[Carmel] has a size advantage,” he explained. “They’re well-coached. They ran good stuff. We wanted to be within striking distance in the fourth quarter. We kind of got to a time in the game where we had to speed up to get more possessions.

“I’m proud of my kids. I thought we got better. I was pleased with the effort. We can build on that. I think they’re starting to believe in each other and in what we’re doing. They’re really coming together as a team. [People] will read that we lost by 20, but I think there’s a lot of positive things to come out of this. The game was a lot closer than a 20-point game at the end.”

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