EASTON - The Northwestern Tigers want to prove that they are worthy of a spot in the District 11 tournament.
They started making their case Saturday night by hanging with Wilson, who was the third seed in last season's District 11 Class AAA torunament, to the end in the championship game of the Wilson Tip-off Tournament.
The Tigers came up short as the host Warriors staved off a late rally by Northwestern to take the game 58-48 and claimed the tournament trophy as well.
"We are happy going 1-1," said Northwestern head coach Dan Eddinger about the tournament. "Obviously 2-0 would have been better. We are realists. We realize there is going to be a learning curve in the beginning of the season. To stay competitive with [Wilson] on their turf is great."
The two squads struggled offenseively in the first quarter with Wilson not scoring till nearly three minutes into the contest, but they were tied at 8-8 after the first.
The Warriors opened up the second quarter by going on an 8-1 run that prompted a Northwestern timeout. Out of the break, sophomore Parker Jones drained a three-pointer that got the Tigers back on track and in the ball game as they cut into Wilson's lead as the score stood at 18-14 heading in to the half.
The Tigers mustered only five points in the third with junior Cam Richardson's two-point jumper with 2:41 left in the third to make it 23-19 being the last as the Warriors ended the quarter gong on an 11-0 run to widen their lead to 34-19.
"Ever since I have been here, we always seem to have a lull [in every game] somewhere along the way," said Eddinger. "And against good teams those come back to bite you."
The fourth quarter was dominated by offense as the two squads combined for 53 points. Senior Collin Breidinger led the surge in the fourth for the Tigers with five of his 10 points coming in the last eight minutes of play.
A Logan Schwartz (12 points) three with 1:08 left moved the Tigers to within ten as they were down 54-44. However, tournament MVP Phil Pierfy of Wilson scored 11 of his 18 total points in the fourth to help the Warriors hold off the Tigers.
"I think this got some nerves out of our system," Eddinger said of the tournament. "Other than three guys this is their first real varsity experience. Hopefully these guys will slowly get more comfortable at the varsity level."
Northwestern's Kevin Markovitch and Breidinger were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Archer 0-0-0-0, Williamson 1-1-3-3, Mengel 0-1-2-1, Jones 2-2-2-8, Breininger 1-0-0-2, McCann 0-0-0-0, Breidinger 4-0-0-10, Schwartz 5-0-2-12, Maurer 0-0-0-0, Storm 0-0-0-, Richardson 2-0-0-4, Markovitch 4-0-0-8. Totals: 19-4-10-48
Johnson 0-0-0-0, Bogoly 2-2-2-6, Cooper 3-1-2-9, Cintron 1-6-6-9, King 3-2-4-8, Herbert 0-0-0-0, Butler 0-0-0-0, Tominaj 0-0-0-0, Beaman 0-2-2-2, Tooley 3-0-0-6, Pierfy 7-3-7-18. Totals: 19-16-23-58
Northwestern 8 6 5 29 - 48
Wilson 8 10 16 24 - 58
Three-pointers: NW- Jones 3, Schwartz 2, Breidinger 1; W- Cooper 2, Cintron 1, Pierfy 1