For the second straight home game, Logan Whitman and Zach Keyes had huge nights to help lead Northview to victory.
Thursday night Keyes had a game-high 30 points and 14 rebounds while Whitman added another 27 points as the Knights pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 79-60 win over South Putnam.
Just six days earlier, Whitman dropped 34 on Mooresville while Keyes hit for 31 in a comfortable win over the Pioneers. On Thursday, the Knights needed a big performance from the two as starter, and double digit scorer, Josh Timm missed the contest with a wrist injury suffered in shootarounds and starting point guard Amos Wegner re-injured a wrist midway through the third quarter.
The Knights got out to an early 22-10 through one quarter as Whitman tossed in 11 and Keyes added another five. But the second quarter showed the fight that the Eagles possess as they outrebounded Northview 14-to-eight and closed the lead to 34-29 at the halftime break.
Eagle forward Sam Beasor was the main reason for the comeback with seven rebounds in the quarter and six points.
In the third quarter the Knights got rolling with an opening Whitman steal and layin from Keyes. Tyler Akers stole the Eagles' inbounds pass and got the hoop before a Travis Hughes putback. Whitman then capped the 9-0 run with one of his four 3-pointers and suddenly the Knights were up 43-29 less than two minutes into the second half. "Coming in we felt that we would have to limit #23 (Whitman) and #43 (Keyes)," commented Eagle coach Kyle Brewer. "They're two really good players and we weren't able to contain them tonight."
Despite the success of the Northview duo, Eagle guard Jeff Limbach was having a stellar night as well.
He and Ames proceeded to shoot and defend their team back into the game with a 3-pointer apiece and a freethrow from Ames. After a Keyes basket extended the lead back to 45-36, Limbach hit a driving layin before stripping the ball from a Northview guard for another layup and an 11-2 Eagle run. "He surprised me a lot," said Northview coach Mitch Lancaster. "He's got good quickness and surprising range."
Limbach would ring up 10 of his 20 points in the third quarter. But his value to his team extended beyond that according to Brewer. "Limbach does some really positive things for us," he said. "The biggest thing is his ball-handling ability. He was able to break the press for us tonight and find the open man under the hoop."
The Eagles would battle back to within 55-50 after three quarters after hitting eight-of-13 shots in the third period. But the Knights turned up their defense in the final stanza.
They would force the Eagles into a four-of-18 (22 percent) shooting performance in the final quarter. "Though we were a little dinged up tonight, we were able to weather the storm and play some good defense in the fourth quarter," said Lancaster. "They are a good ballclub and they battled hard, but it was good to see us play some defense in the fourth."
While the Eagles couldn't find the hoop, Whitman and Keyes were combining for 18 fourth quarter points. Keyes would not miss a shot in the period, going three-for-three from the field and six-of-six from the line.
The Knights would limit the Eagles to just 10 points in the last quarter while Northview ended the game with a 16-6 run to get their 17th win of the season against two defeats.
Northview will return to the court Saturday afternoon for a game versus White River Valley at noon.