Northwest knocks off host Aquinas, will play in championship game [Slideshow]

Boys basketball makes easy work of Saint Thomas Aquinas with a 56-34 victory, will play Bishop Miege in rematch of last years championship game.

Even with the home court advantage, Saint Thomas Aquinas posed little threat to the Cougars.

After a sluggish first quarter where a combined 11 points were scored, the Cougars pulled away in the second quarter outscoring the Saints 24-5.

” We were looking a little too early for shots rather than get a feel for the zone,” Coach Mike Rose said,” We really wanted to get people on the baseline to drag out that zone a little bit.”

The key for Northwest was driving into the zone and then kicking it out to the perimeter for open outside shots. The Cougars made seven of 11 three point attempts in the half, a staggering  64 percentage from outside the arch.

“We were better tonight against the zone,” Rose said, ” We had some big threes in the first half that were kind of a back breaker.”

But the Northwest was also impressive on the defensive allowing only one Aquinas player to score in the first half, Senior Steven Mayfield. He had all eight points for the Saints.

Cougars had a balanced attack in the first half with four of the five starters contributing at least 6 points.

Opening up the second half, the Cougars continued to shoot effectively making their first three shots of the half.

” We talked a little bit at halftime, that we need to penetrate some gaps to get that zone to collapse a little bit,” Rose said.

Throughout the third quarter Northwest sustained their lead, building it all the way up to 33 at one point. Northwest never trailed the entire game.

There was a scary moment late in the third quarter when a STA player accidentally stepped on Junior Drew Goodger’s head. After the game Coach Rose said that he had “abrasion” above one of his eyes. A decision on whether Goodger will be determined later today.

Having a comfortable 28-point at the end of the third quarter coach Mike Rose began rotating in JV players getting them valuable varsity time.

In all Northwest played 11 total players in the game giving the starters much needed rest for tomorrow . With the win Northwest improves to 8-2 on the season.

” Were gonna need as much energy as possible  tomorrow,” Rose said

The Cougars will now face the No. 1 ranked team in the state and the KC metro, the Bishop Miege Stags led by Alabama commit Trevor Releford. Northwest met Miege in the Saints Tournament Final last year only to fall to them 78-57, one of the only games last year where the Cougars looked over matched. The star of the game was Releford who scored 31 points and was named tournament MVP.

The game starts at 4:45 p.m. at Saint Thomas Aquinas.

” Were gonna need as much energy as possible  tomorrow, ” Rose said.

Senior Steve Carver also advanced to the finals of the three point competition of the tournament.

Point Totals:


AJ Spencer 19 points

Steve Carver 15 points

Trey Fruehling 10 points

Nick Feighner 8 points

Sam Phelps 4 points