It's likely that the tears from Friday night's sectional loss to Mooresville is still fresh for the Northview Knights' girls' basketball team. Though sadness is inevitable, there is little to be disappointed about in a year that saw an unprecedented amount of success for the program.
From back-to-back seasons of 5-16 last year and 3-18 the year before to a 15-7 mark this year, including an eight-game winning streak, the Knights have succeeded in ways few thought possible.
A youthful squad that featured only one senior in Ashley Pierce, the Knights will return virtually intact for a run at a sectional title next year.
Pierce, a stalwart inside player for the Knights, recorded on average, 5.5 points a game and 3.2 rebounds and a total of 29 steals this year. A four-year player for Northview, Pierce will be missed as much for her play on the court as her attitude off the hardwood.
A superb, hardworking junior class provided the backbone for Northview this year, led by Whitney Medworth who scored over 12 points per game, good for second on the team. She also led the Knights with 5.2 assists per game and was third in the Western Indiana Conference. Her 37 3-pointers put her second in the WIC behind South Vermillion's Kylee Wood (39) and on the defensive side she averaged two steals a game.
Backcourt mate Amy Thiemann provided another defensive presence with a team leading 2.5 steals a game to go with her offensive game.
She provided the Knights with 7.5 points a game and shot a conference high 41 percent from 3-point range, hitting 19 this year. She also contributed nearly four rebounds a game.
The rebounding title went to the newcomer of the year for the Knights and one of the best in the Wabash Valley, Julie Whitted.
The 6'5 center could be seen as one of the biggest keys to the Knights' success this year since she topped the team in scoring (13.3 ppg.) and rebounding (9.9 rpg.). Her defensive presence inside changed the way teams prepared for Northview all year long and with a season of development she could be on coaches' radar screens all over the midstate next year.
Junior forward Erica Koehler was the sparkplug that kept the Knights engine firing this season. Her diligence on both ends of the court pushed her to finish as the Knight's third-leading scorer (8.2 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (4.9 rpg).
Part-time junior starters Sara Frazier and Rachel Deal gave the Knights needed relief off the bench on most nights. The pair didn't put up eye-popping stats but each played strong defense for a Northview squad that gave up just 46.5 points per game while scoring over 55 a game.
Freshmen Heather Palmer and Jennifer Gregg along with sophomore Laura McCrea all saw varsity action and showed the potential to be a force in the years to come. Each saw extensive junior varsity time for a program that hit double-digits in wins.
At the junior varsity level, freshman Kayla Glassburn, along with sophomores Jenna Godsey, Casey Challandes and a host of others will push for a varsity uniform next season along with more talent at the eighth grade level.
The transformation of the Northview basketball program has been arduous at times, but the hard work has begun to pay its dividends across the board. Though the degree of success in the upcoming years is still up in the air, one thing is for certain, the future is certainly bright.