It's showtime once again for the Northview Knights and Terre Haute South Braves as the pair get a rematch less than a month after their Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic barn burner.
The Braves invade the Knights gym on Friday night for a 6:30 p.m. junior varsity tip-off in what has boiled down to a home-and-home series this year.
If Friday's rematch holds a candle to the Dec. 30 contest in the championship game of the Wabash tournament, fans are in for a treat.
In that game the Knights trailed by double-digits for a significant amount of the game before Josh Timm and Logan Whitman got hot in the third quarter, hitting a handful of 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the period.
Jeremy Lock was a handful in the first half for Northview, pouring in 19 points in the first half before the Knights could shut him down in the second half.
Northview got a season-high 28 points from Timm that night as the Knights pulled even and finally took control at the end for a repeat of their 2001 Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic title, 73-66.
Zach Keyes had 16 points and Whitman had 17 for Northview in that game while Lock finished with 22 points and seven rebounds. Six-foot-six senior Evan Haruff had 10 points and four boards in that game for the Braves.
This time around South should have a healthy Chad Talpas who adds another tough 6'5 body in the middle for the Braves, a prospect that could give Northview fits.
Terre Haute South is one of the rare teams the Knights have faced this year that has the quickness to match up with Northview and the size that is lacking from the Knights' lineup.
In their first match, Northview coach Mitch Lancaster had 6'3 junior Craig Greenwood front Lock inside and deny him the ball down low. That tactic worked wonders as Lock produced just three foul shots in the second half. But whether they can control Lock and a healthy Talpas remains to be seen.
The Knights are going to need another big shooting night from the perimeter if they are going to be able to get Zach Keyes good looks inside and Greenwood will have to do a solid job on the boards for the smallish Knights.
South will have difficulty matching up with Northview's three guards on the court. Travis Hughes, Timm and Whitman generally produce at least one matchup problem even for deep teams forcing a squad to take a big man off the court to keep up. In the last game, the Braves did a good job on Whitman and Hughes for most of the game, but Timm stepped up and threw a serious wrench into South's plans.
Whoever can best cover up their weakness will likely win this contest, but regardless, this one is not to be missed.