LOOGOOTEE, Ind. — Whenever No. 5 Wood Memorial made a charge toward New Washington in the final of the Class A Loogootee Regional, the Mustangs responded.
New Washington drilled nine 3-pointers, built an 11-point lead midway through the fourth quarter and held off the Trojans 67-62 Saturday night.
The Mustangs (20-9), winning their first regional since 2001 and second overall, now advance to the semi-state Saturday at Richmond beginning at 4 p.m. They will face No. 3-ranked Indianapolis Tindley.
“I’m not sure I can put this into words,” New Washington coach Jonathan May said. “I’m not sure it’s quite sunk in yet. It’s just been a whirlwind. It’s been a really fun one.”
Leading New Washington’s long-range attack was senior Hunter Lind, who buried five 3-pointers on the night, which accounted for all of his points.
“We have had confidence in Hunter Lind all season,” May said. “He’s made big shots for us. Every one of those guys on the floor did a great job of finding him in good spots. We executed in our sets to get him the shot.”
After Lind hit a 3-pointer and Stevie Mack converted a couple of free throws on consecutive trips, New Washington had its biggest lead of the night, 57-46, with 3:04 left in the game.
Wood Memorial (22-6) wasn’t finished, though. Paxton Bartley, a standout sophomore, raced down the floor through the New Washington defense for four straight layups. Bartley’s last layup cut the lead to 63-59 with 32.8 seconds left. Bartley finished with 24 points.
“Surprisingly, I was about as calm as I’ve been in the last five games,” May said of Wood Memorial’s late run. “We’ve been in this situation five times (in the postseason). So, we’re battled-tested.”
Still, the Mustangs hit just enough free throws — 4 of 6 in the final 29 seconds — to secure the win. Zach Moore, who had two 3-pointers himself, led the Mustangs with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 Mack had 11 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.
“This feels like a great accomplishment for our community,” Mack said. “It will be a very tough assignment (in the semi-state). But, we’ll give it our all for our community.”
CLASS A LOOGOOTEE REGIONAL
NEW WASHINGTON 67, WOOD MEMORIAL 62
NEW WASHINGTON (20-9)
Caleb Ellison 8p; Brandon Gill 3p; Brandon Horton 11p; Hunter Lind 15p; Zach Moore 19p, 10r; Stevie Mack 11p, 16r.
WOOD MEMORIAL (22-6)
Tyler Fleisher 7p; Lathan Falls 12p; Dalton Coburn 7p; Tristan Vickers 2p; Paxon Bartley 24p; Walker Nurrenbern 18p; Austin Ireland 2p.