BRAZIL -- No one can accuse Northview's girls' basketball team of ducking quality opponents this season. After opening the season at home against now top-five in 4A, Mooresville, and facing the defending state champion Terre Haute South Braves twice in their first seven games, what was next for the Knights? A visit from top-10 in 4A Bloomington North.
The Knights hung tough with the Cougars throughout the first half, trailing just 30-20 at the break, but North came out hot in the third quarter and pressured the Knights into a 70-44 defeat.
One might think that a big loss to Mooresville and a defeat to North would be tough on the psyche, however, coach Bob Medworth doesn't think so. "I don't think it bothers (the players) too much, most of them are pretty even headed and would rather play tough games than easy ones."
Well they have certainly gotten their wish as according to Medworth, a look at his team's strength of schedule thus far sees his squad with the 34th most difficult slate in the Hoosier state. Pretty lofty considering the competition in this state.
But in Monday's contest, the Knights were able to keep the Cougars away from the basket for much of the first half, which resulted in slowing down the North offense. Smooth shooting Kiley Jarrett hit for 12 of her team's 30 first half points.
Though the Knights turned the ball over 16 times in the first half against the Cougar pressure, Northview's defense stymied the penetration attempts of North. However, they were deadly from outside.
The Cougars hit 3-of-4 from long range in the first quarter to build that 10-point halftime lead.
In the third quarter, the Cougars turned up their defensive pressure to the boiling point and the Knights simply wilted in the heat.
Northview turned the ball over eight times in the quarter as the Cougars raced away to a 29 point period.
North hit an incredible 11-of-13 shots in the quarter from a variety of distances. Jarrett hit four-of-five shots in the quarter as part of her 20 point night. Northview simply couldn't handle the full court press that the Cougars implemented, especially with starting point guard, Amy Thiemann, nursing a pair of jammed fingers on one hand.
Thiemann didn't attempt a shot and spent a large amount of time on the bench as Sara Frazier took over the reigns. Frazier wouldn't fair much better against the swarming Cougars. "They're good," said Medworth. "They're very good. They're so fast. I knew that playing the zone tonight, that they'd get some open three-point shots, I just didn't think that they'd hit them all."
While the Cougars didn't hit all of them, they did hit six-of-10 from outside the arc on their way to shooting 60 percent (27-of-45) from the field.
North took a 59-30 lead into the fourth quarter and while Northview substituted some of their younger players into the game, the Cougars kept their starters in until near the end.
Erica Koehler had one of her best games of the season with 13 points and four boards while Julie Whitted added 12 points, six rebounds and four blocks. Whitney Medworth had 11 points.
The Knights will get a rest until their game Saturday at Bloomfield beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Northview's junior varsity squad took a 37-25 defeat on Monday to the Cougars.
The Knights were led by Jennifer Gregg and Casey Challandes' six points apiece. Sarah Scott led the Cougars with 11.
Northview will face Bloomfield on the road Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.