The 54th NECC boys basketball title went to Central Noble Saturday night as the Cougars defeated the Prairie Heights Panthers in the championship game. This is Central Noble’s second time in program history to capture the title, the first being 50 years ago in 1970.
In the first quarter Central Noble led Prairie Heights by just one point, 16-15. When the two teams went to their respective locker rooms at halftime, the Panthers had the lead 29-27. The Cougars got their edge by ending the third quarter 51-43 over the Panthers.
In the end, Central Noble beat Prairie Heights with a final score of 76-70.
Only three Central Noble players scored during the game. Connor Essigian led the Cougars with 34 points, followed by Sawyer Yoder with 29, and Logan Gard with 12.
Mike Perkins led the panthers with 23, followed by Elijah Malone with 17, and Brandon Christlieb with 13.
Saturday night’s game was Central Noble’s first title game appearance since 1977. The Cougars last met Prairie Heights in the championship game back in 1970 where they also took the win, 80-74.
The battle between the Cougars and Panthers this year was the highest scoring game since 1977 when Westview beat Central Noble 75-73 in boys basketball and it is the 4th highest scoring championship game in the history of the boys basketball tournament.
Central Noble will be back on the court in regular season play against East Noble Wednesday night (1/22/20).
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