The playoff ride is over for North Union boys basketball as the Warriors fell in the class 1A – district 4 final 65-57 to the Newman Catholic Knights. The Knights survived the final 4:09 of the ballgame without senior point guard Max Burt, who fouled out, as Doug Taylor scored 27 to lift Newman Catholic to victory.
North Union spent most of the game trailing, as their only lead was 3-2 in the first quarter, but were within striking range of the Knights throughout the game, never trailing by double digits at any point until the final moments of the fourth quarter.
The Knights grabbed a 15-11 lead at the end of one, but the Warriors would come back to tie the game at 23, as junior Kyan Jones scored on back to back drives to even the game up with under two minutes left in the half. After four straight Newman Catholic points, Teagon Fothergill drilled a three with seven seconds in left in the half to make the score 27-26.
Newman Catholic extended their lead to six points on two separate occasions in the first couple minutes of the third as the pace of the game quickened, but the Warriors answered with a bucket of their own each time. However, the Knights would start to create some separation by scoring the final five points of the third, all from senior Trev Hickey, and holding North Union off the board over the final 3:25 to take a 45-38 lead into the fourth. The Warriors turned the ball over four times and had three missed shots over that timeframe.
In spite of Burt fouling out, North Union would get no closer than four points in the fourth. Taylor finished with 27 points on 9/12 shooting for the Knights, adding a 9/10 performance at the free throw line. Overall, Newman Catholic finished 16/21 at the foul line. Taylor’s teammate Noah Hamilton posted a double double of 15 points and 16 boards. Junior Aiden Lofstrom led North Union with 12 points, making six of his nine field goal attempts, while junior Kody Irmiter was 5/7 from the field for 11 points. Jones finished with eight points and 9 assists. The Warriors would end the night just 6/23 on three pointers and 3/9 at the foul line.
Newman Catholic moves on to face Dunkerton on Saturday night with a trip to Wells Fargo Arena on the line, as Dunkerton defeated South Hamilton 52-34 last night. North Union ends the season with a record of 15-9, setting the team record for wins, points per game, and points allowed per game.