ELLETSVILLE -- The Northview Knights might have been forgiven if they were looking past their opponent on Saturday night. Afterall, they were facing the Edgewood Mustangs who had won just one game this season and the Knights were one week away from facing top-ranked Lawrence North in the Hall of Fame Classic.
But unfortunately for the Mustangs, the Knights were plenty focused during the second and third quarters. It was those two quarters that helped the Knights pull away for a 78-62 victory.
Though Northview picked up their seventh win against no losses, coach Mitch Lancaster was more focused on the team's defensive lapses in the fourth quarter. "(The defense) was very disappointing," said Lancaster. "If we want to win championships we can't have letdowns like that."
What Lancaster was referring to was a fourth quarter that saw Edgewood outscore the Knights 30-17 and claw back from a 29-point lead at the end of three quarters, to within 16 at the final buzzer.
"We have to get better on the defensive end. It doesn't matter who we're playing. Some of it can be credited to human nature (having a 29-point lead), but if we want to win our sectional we need to play better defense," said Lancaster. "If we have a night like this in our sectional, (the season) will be over."
Against the Mustangs however, the Knights had little to worry about after Zach Keyes put together an eight-point second quarter to go with Josh Timm's pair of 3-pointers and two hoops from Dan Hoover in the paint, gave Northview a 36-19 lead at the half.
Though Logan Whitman was struggling from the field (five-of-15 shooting), the Knights got a balanced effort across the board to corral the Mustangs.
Keyes put together a 23 point night on 10-of-12 shooting from the field and Timm added 17 to go with Whitman's 15 as Northview opened the third quarter with an 11-4 burst that officially ended Edgewood's threat.
Keyes would score 11 in the third quarter and Timm drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put Northview ahead 61-32.
Give Edgewood credit however, they wouldn't give up easily as shown by their fourth quarter effort.
As the Knights seemed to lose focus and interest, the Mustangs started knocking down shots from long range.
Kyle McGlone, Daniel Lindsey and Tyce Carmichael all hit 3-pointers as the Mustangs hit nine of their 17 shots in the period and Northview missed six free throws to open the door for Edgewood.
The Mustangs did not turn the ball over in the final period and nearly hit their season scoring average for a game (38) in just the last quarter (30).
Northview (7-0 overall, 3-0 WIC) will face off with Lawrence North (7-0 overall) in the Hall of Fame Classic at New Castle on Dec. 27.
In the girls game, the Northview Knights trailed by just one point at halftime versus the unbeaten Class 3A third-ranked Edgewood Mustangs.
However, the Knights fell apart in the pivotal fourth quarter as Edgewood outscored Northview 20-2 to drop a 54-33 WIC game.
The Knights shot just 30 percent (three-of-10) in the third quarter but still trailed by just two points. But in the fourth quarter, everything that could go wrong, seemed to for Northview.
Northview turned the ball over eight times in the last quarter and the Mustangs got to the foul line and hit 14-of-16 to pull away.
Amy Thiemann and Julie Whitted each had 12 points, but Whitted missed seven of eight shots in the paint in the final period and the Knights hit just 16 percent from the field in the second half (four-of-25).
The Knights will have until Jan. 3 to get healthy and recharged for a visit to 7-4 Danville.
Whitman 5-15 4-4 15, Timm 5-9 3-6 17, Keyes 10-12 3-4 23, Greenwood 0-1 0-1 0, Akers 2-3 4-4 8, Wells 2-2 4-9 8, Hoover 2-5 0-0 4, Brand 1-1 0-0 3, Landry 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-48 18-28 78
Tague 0-2 0-0 0, McGlone 5-14 5-5 16, Dawson 3-10 2-2 9, Lindsey 3-10 2-2 9, Waterford 3-6 2-2 8, McCann 1-3 1-1 3, Smith 0-2 2-2 2, Carmichael 1-1 0-0 3, Davis 2-4 3-5 7. Totals: 20-55 17-19 62.
3-point fieldgoals -- Northview 6-20 (Timm 4-8, Whitman 1-10, Brand 1-1, Keyes 0-1), Edgewood 5-17 (Lindsey 2-7, McGlone 1-4, Carmichael 1-1, McCann 0-1, Tague 0-1, Dawson 1-3). Rebounds -- Northview 31 (Greenwood 9, Keyes 7), Edgewood 14 (McGlone 5). Total Fouls -- Northview 18, Edgewood 24. Fouled out -- Edgewood (Waterford, Davis). Turnovers -- Northview 13, Edgewood 12. Team Rebounds -- Northview 6, Edgewood 11.