Now that most high school girls' basketball teams have at least five games under their belts, the squads have mostly settled into their identities.
The Northview Knights, at 4-4, have proved that they are one of the most improved teams in the Wabash Valley after winning just five games the entire season last year. Two of those losses came to Class 4A No. 3 Mooresville and Class 4A No. 5 Bloomington North. The other two were hard fought battles with defending 4A state champion Terre Haute South.
The Knights have shown an increased ability to score on offense this season as guard Amy Thiemann and forward Whitney Medworth have added to their scoring numbers from last year. Thiemann is averaging 11.0 ppg. (points per game) while hitting 57% (8-of-14) of her 3-pointers, which is tops in the WIC Conference.
Medworth is scoring at a 12.4 ppg. clip and dishing out over four assists per contest. At 6-0" tall, her ability to shoot from the outside makes her difficult to guard for smaller guards and her quickness helps her elude bigger forwards. She helps draw the defense away from the middle which gives 6-5" freshman center Julie Whitted room to operate.
Whitted, along with junior Erica Koehler, have given the Knights an inside/outside presence that makes them dangerous. Whitted scores nearly double digits per contest and is pulling down over nine boards a game.
Koehler gives Northview a hard nosed defensive player who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty inside either. She's one of three players on the squad, shooting over 50% from the field (Ashley Pierce and Whitted). She plays with a reckless abandon and comes up with loose balls more often than not.
Though the Knights are much improved this year, coach Bob Medworth believes his team can be much better. "We haven't run our break correctly about 80% of the time. We are better, but we have to continue to cut down on turnovers and get more offensive rebounds."
The Knights will face Bloomfield on the road on Saturday with the junior varsity starting time moved back a half hour and slated to begin at 11:30 a.m.
The Clay City Eels have talent this season but have been a bit enigmatic thus far.
Heading into tonight's game versus Riverton Parke (3-3) the Eels are 0-5 overall and 0-1 in the Tri-River Conference after an opening game heartbreaker to Union (Dugger) in overtime.
The biggest problem to this point has been turnovers for the Eels. Clay City is averaging about 20 turnovers a contest which has led to a lack of offensive possessions and easy transition baskets for the opposition.
Whitney McWilliams and Jenna Koehler have provided much of the scoring for the Eels with a host of players taking up the rebounding slack. Both players are double digit threats on any given night as well as Brittany Rood who can knock down the jumper. But Clay City has lacked a consistent inside scorer.
Bryleigh Schopmeyer has spent much of her time working the paint and can provide points as well for the Eels. If she can provide a consistent inside scoring threat to go along with Koehler and McWilliams' midrange to outside shooting touch, the Eels will be much tougher to defend.
Despite being winless to this point, the Eels will get better as the season progresses and each player is more comfortable with the ball. Turnovers will likely decrease as the Eel guards become more comfortable during game conditions.
Clay City will face Riverton Parke tonight with the junior varsity beginning at 6 p.m. The Panthers are currently on a two game winning streak and stand at 3-3 on the season.