TERRE HAUTE -- The Turkey Run Warriors hung tough with the Northview Knights in the first half of Saturday's Wabash Valley Classic semifinal game. But the end result was much the same as last year's championship game. A Northview blowout.
The Knights turned a 29-22 first half lead with just 36 seconds remaining into a 33-22 lead after Zach Keyes and Logan Whitman got quick hoops to end the first 16 minutes of play.
Keyes continued his impressive tournament with a new Wabash Valley Classic high of 34 points versus the Warriors going 15-of-20 from the field. The decisive points came with several minutes left in the fourth quarter on a layin. Coach Mitch Lancaster brought him to the bench soon afterwards to a standing ovation. "I actually had no idea he had set the record," said Lancaster. "He runs the floor real well, I just wish he was 6'5" or 6'6" he could write his own ticket."
Keyes had 16 points in the first half while Northview built a lead despite Phil Woods scoring 12 of his own points. Woods would have 18 in the game.
Northview would turn up the defensive burners in the third quarter and, much like the Knights' other tournament opponents, the Warriors went up in flames.
The Knights forced six Warrior turnovers in the third quarter and outscored them 26-12 using their defensive tenacity. "I think that we really wore them down in the third quarter," said Lancaster. "The press will do that to teams. For some reason we don't seem to get tired. These kids really seem to focus when we're in the press."
And focus they did.
Keyes would add a variety of hoops in the paint off baseline moves and transition baskets while Whitman would ring up all three of his 3-pointers in the quarter for 11 of his 21 points as the Knights romped out to a 59-34 lead through three periods of action.
Northview led by as many as 30 points early in the fourth quarter before most of the starters were removed.
The Knights also got some excellent efforts from Craig Greenwood who had nine points and seven rebounds and Josh Timm who added 10 points and six boards.
The frightening part of the game was that the Knights were once more missing an integral starter.
After Josh Timm missed several games leading up to the tournament, Travis Hughes sat out versus Turkey Run with the flu but could be back for the championship game. "Travis (Hughes) is probably our best defender and a good scorer. Hopefully he'll be back for our next game."
That next game will be against host Terre Haute South, a 65-50 victor over Vincennes in the evening's other semifinal game. The contest begins at approximately 8 p.m. after the third/fourth place game that begins at 6 p.m. between Vincennes and Turkey Run.