By Dustin Henggeler
North Nodaway Mustang senior Cody Wood scored 41 points on February 8 to break the school record for points scored in a single game as the Mustangs pulled out a 77-69 overtime win over the South Holt Knights for a Courtwarming win in Hopkins.
With a previous personal best of 29 points in a game, Wood seemed to have surprised himself with the performance. But North Nodaway Coach Jake Shipman knew what the senior was capable of and happy to have been there to witness it all come together for Wood.
“I don’t really have words for what I saw tonight from Cody,” Shipman said. “But it was a privilege to be a part of, and it was fun to see a kid who deserves that flourish and get to do that in front of the crowd we had tonight and it meant the world to me as a coach.”
Seven 3-pointers in the first quarter alone showed the capability of both teams when it came to spreading a defense. The Mustangs had three of those with a pair from Wood and another from Ryan Riley. Two baskets in the final minute of the first quarter, the first from Arron Coleman and the second by Wood, helped close the gap for North Nodaway to 20-19 behind South Holt.
The slugfest carried into the second quarter as the teams traded leads the entire second quarter. Wood stepped up late in the half with four points in the final minute to return the lead in North Nodaway’s favor as the Mustangs ended the half up 33-31.
A hot start to the second half was ignited by an early 3-pointer from Riley followed by scoring from Wood and Tyler Bix as North Nodaway jumped to a 10-point lead over the first four minutes. But it took less than a minute for the Knights to cut that lead down with eight unanswered points as Coleman headed to the bench with a fourth foul. With the game back on level terms, it was Riley who came up big late in the third quarter with five points in the final minute to keep the Mustangs afloat, including a 3-pointer with :05 to help the Mustangs to a 49-44 edge into the fourth quarter.
It took the Knights a minute and a half to tie the game at 49-all as the teams once again battled back and forth. Coleman returned to the court for the Mustangs, who spent the first half relying on his pace setting on offense. But he fouled out with five minutes left to play. In his absence it was Wood, Riley and Bix who stepped up for the Mustangs as the two teams traded leads into the final minute.
The Knights hit a layup at :45 to go up 63-62 and scored one more with :15 left to give them a three-point lead as North Nodaway took a timeout. Taking the inbound from the baseline, Riley was found in the corner and the junior stepped up in a big fashion hitting his fourth 3-pointer of the night to tie the game with :04 left. South Holt took a timeout to draw up a play to regain the lead but couldn’t score amd the game went into overtime.
“The weather hasn’t allowed us to have as many practices as I’d like at this point in the season, but to see our kids fight the way they did was awesome,” Shipman said. “Tonight we were patient and we trusted each other and we shot the ball confidently. Our guys were ready to go and it was just a fun game to be a part of, win or lose.”
While the 41 points from Wood is impressive, it was his overtime performance that set the tone for just how impressive the feat was. The senior scored all but two points in overtime for North Nodaway as the Mustangs dominated the Knights 13-5 to secure the 77-69 Courtwarming win. Later that night, Wood’s evening was complete by being crowned the Courtwarming king.
Behind Wood’s 41 points was Riley with 17, Coleman and Bix with eight each and Karson Oberhauser with three points.