OAKLAND CITY -- Wood Memorial basketball men kept a 1,000-plus-points career scorer under control, but North Posey couldn't limit a 1,000-plus scorer.
Thus the Trojans made school history by beating the Vikings 65-47 in the finale of Friday night's Toyota/Gibson County Teamwork Classic two-gender doubleheader.
Saturday night, when the Trojans host Princeton Community in search of revenge for a 70-44 November 20 season-opening loss, they are in the Classic's championship game for the first time in the tourney's 19-year history. Thus this marked the first time Wood Memorial boys and girls both reached the final the same year.
In coach Dustin George's first season, the Trojans advanced via 6-foot-4 senior Paxon Bartley's 39 points, 18 in the 34-20 first half and 15 the fourth quarter. By hitting 11 baskets including a pair of threes, and 15 of 17 free throws, Bartley raised his career points total to 1,461. The Gibson County boys' career record is 1,601 by 2011 Princeton grad Rontray Chavis, who in his last game broke the 1967 record of 1,594 by Oakland City High's Larry Harris, grandfather of Bartley.
In contrast, North Posey junior Josiah Ricketts, who topped 1,000 as a sophomore, managed just 10 Friday points.
"Paxon's the real deal," said North Posey Coach Heath Howington, whose Vikings take a 2-5 record vs. Mount Carmel in Saturday's third-place game, a few hours before the Trojans put a two-game win streak and 3-6 log vs. Princeton.
"We knew we'd have to limit him. We tried to close in on him, put fresh people on him, and double-down on him. But Wood Memorial was well prepared," said Howington.
"I don't know if you can teach anybody to get to the rim as well as Paxon does. He has such a knack for that," George said. "His points tonight were a quiet 39.
"I also like how Cam Saulmon attacked the rim," their coach said of the senior who scored 10 points to join Lady Trojans coach Johnnie Bartley's son in double-figures.
George lauded 5-11 junior Logan Keeker, 5-11 senior Harden Hunter and 6-1 sophomore Coltin Page for their defense on Josiah Ricketts, whose 6-5 freshman brother Jonathan Ricketts led North Posey with 15 points. Five-eleven junior Camden Bender matched Josh Ricketts' 10.
"Logan did a great job of keeping Josiah at bay. This was his first start this season. It was a last-minute decision. We told Logan, You've got it.' And he showed his great toughness," George said.
"Harden and Coltin each did a great job in the time they guarded Josiah. Harden missed our last two games due to an ankle sprain, and this week marked his first practice in a while.
"Our game plan was to guard Josiah one-on-one with others stepping in to help if needed. We had a backup plan, but Logan and Harden and Coltin did so well that we didn't have to go to the backup plan."
The Trojans never trailed. Bartley took a defensive rebound and drove coast-to-coast for the layup that broke a 4-4 tie. He then made a three. Page's basket closed the 17-11 first quarter. Saulmon and Page each hit a three to begin an 8-0 run to 32-18 command that became 34-20 at halftime on Keeker's last-second layup. Bartley scored the third quarter's first four points, and he made five of six free throws in a 25-second span that brought a 55-35 spread early the fourth. He received a standing ovation when replaced by junior Yogi Bottoms with 58 seconds left.
"Wood Memorial did a good job of switching on defense, and we didn't move the ball," said Howington. "And Bartley found ways to get to the basket."
While the Vikings shot 1-for-6 on free throws, the Trojans shot 19-for-24, including Hunter's 3-for-4.
At Oakland City
Pool B second round
NORTH POSEY (47)
Harris 3 0-0 6. Newman 1 0-0 3, Jon. Ricketts 7 0-2 15, C. Bender 4 0-0 10, Jos. Ricketts 4 1-1 10, Cox 1 0-2 3, H. Bender 0 0-1 0, Koester 0 0-0 0, Wunderlich 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 1-6 47.
WOOD MEMORIAL (65)
Bartley 11 15-17 39, Keeker 2 0-1 4, Page 2 0-0 5, Hunter 0 3-4 3, Saulmon 4 1-2 10, Schwomeyer 2 0-0 4, Bottoms 0 0-0 0, Parke 0 0-0 0, Day 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 19-24--65
NorthPosey . 11 . 9 . 12 . 15--47
WoodMem. 17 . 17 . 12 . 19--65
3-point goals -- North Posey 4 (C. Bender 2, Jon. Ricketts 1, Newman 1, Jos. Ricketts 1, Cox 1), Wood Memorial 4 (Bartley 2, Page 1, Saulmon 1). Fouls -- North Posey 20, Wood Memorial 9. Fouled out -- Newman, C. Bender, Jon. Ricketts.