PLAINFIELD -- The Northview Knights just keeping getting closer and closer to defeating the Mooresville Pioneers. But they just weren't quite close enough at the end on Friday night, losing their sectional semifinal contest 50-31 to the No. 6 Pioneers.
Two years ago Northview lost by 60, last year it was 56, the first game of this season it was 31 points, and early on Friday it looked like Friday was the night of destiny.
The Knights opened the game having a great deal of success against the Pioneer press that sunk them earlier this year.
Northview shot out to a six point second quarter lead as freshman Julie Whitted contributed six points and five first half rebounds.
In fact the Knights shot a robust six-of-11 from the field in the first half, but unfortunately for Northview fans, the Pioneers took 15 more shots.
Most of that statistic can be contributed to the fact that Mooresville turned up their press to force 11 second quarter turnovers from the Knights. That led to a 13-4 second quarter scoring advantage for Mooresville as Northview got only two shots off from the field.
"I can't say that all of our problems were contributed to the fact we had trouble handling the ball," said Northview coach Bob Medworth. "Their guards are just very good defensively."
Still, despite a four point second quarter, the Knights were within 23-15 at the half. But in the third quarter Mooresville struck the decisive blows early on.
The Pioneers would force turnovers on the first four Knight possessions and Mooresville would score eight straight points to push their lead out to 16 points before Northview could take a shot.
The Pioneers deep bench eventually took its toll on a Knight squad that, much like their team mascot name, fought valiantly throughout.
But Mooresville's bench would score 20 points in the game to help overcome a well-defended one-of-three night from Suzy Doughty.
Northview would however get within 13 points early in the fourth quarter as Whitney Medworth nailed one of her two 3-pointers to close the gap to 39-26. But Mooresville's bench would respond with a bucket by Joanna Thompson, who had 10 points in the game. But the backbreaker seemed to a foul on a 3-point shot by Olivia Jones who calmly sank all three shots to push the lead back to 18. Doughty would follow with a transition hoop off a steal and the Knights couldn't respond with another run.
"We've had a great season this year," commented Medworth afterwards. "I wouldn't have expected to win 15 games this season, but it shows the work everyone has put in. I've had great coaches all year long and the work they've done the past week has been tremendous in getting ready for this game."
The Knights finish the season at 15-7 overall while Mooresville moves to 20-2 and faces defending state champion Terre Haute South in the sectional final at 7:30 p.m.