All Varsity Kansas Stories

Northwest finds scoring inside and out in win over Andover Central

Published Jan. 2 at 10:51 p.m. | Last updated Jan. 2 at 10:53 p.m.

Midseason basketball practices aren’t supposed to be fun, they’re just supposed to offer a glimpse of the fun to come.

That’s why Northwest spent tireless hours over the two-week Christmas break working on the offense the Grizzlies hadn’t come close to perfecting over their first four games, which included two losses.

When the time came to display the product of that labor, there was much for Northwest to enjoy. The Grizzlies shot 59 percent in a 67-53 dismantling of Andover Central that included a 28-point first quarter.

“We really worked on the offense and just becoming a team more, not being selfish with the basketball,” said Northwest forward Kaleb Cobb, who scored a game-high 21 points. “And trying to get everyone involved.”

Northwest had designs on running its offense through Cortez Carr and others in the post, but those plans evolved as the Grizzlies started hot from the perimeter.

It probably wasn’t in the blueprint to get into a shooting contest with a Jaguars team that boasts several three-point specialists, but by the time Central realized it was in one, it was too late.

The Grizzlies made their first five shots and made four three-pointers while taking a 28-8 lead after the first quarter. Central could barely close the gap via its eight threes, since Northwest finally did take over the post by driving to the basket.

“They hit (eight) threes, so it wasn’t the fact that they weren’t shooting the ball well,” Collins said. “We just shot the ball a little bit better tonight. It was all predicated on us making that extra pass and being cognizant on trying to get the next guy a good look.”

Cobb made all four of his shots in the first quarter, then slowed down until he scored seven in the fourth to outduel teammate Nick Williams, who had 19 points, for the scoring lead.

“I like to penetrate and dish the basketball, and (Collins) knows that,” Cobb said. “He knows I have a good scoring ability, so I like to use that to get assists. Then, when I don’t pass it, I’ll have open looks.”

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NORTHWEST: Meyer 1 0-0 2, Nicholson 2 2-2 8, N. Williams 6 4-4 19, Cobb 7 5-6 21, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Carr 2 3-4 7, Caldwell 2 0-0 6.

ANDOVER CENTRAL: Birch 1 1-1 3, DeYoung 4 0-0 11, Taylor 2 2-2 8, Schaffer 1 0-0 2, Husling 1 0-0 3, Downing 1 0-0 3, Kirkhart 1 0-0 2, Parnell 5 4-6 14, Forbes 3 0-1 7.