The direction of the Northview versus Clay City girl's basketball game was set early in the first quarter as the Knights didn't miss their first shot until there was just 2:40 left in the quarter and the Eels didn't hit their first shot until just 1:20 remained.
The Knights dominated early and often on their home court, using a considerable height advantage and an experienced lineup to cruise to a 92-38 victory over their Clay County neighbors.
"It all started with our defense tonight," commented Northview coach Bob Medworth. "We hit a lot of our early shots and got our confidence going quick. It was really exciting to see some of our younger players succeed."
Nearly everyone in the Knight's lineup had an excellent evening led by 6'5 sophomore Julie Whitted who rang up 18 points, 17 rebounds and added seven blocks in the game. "(Northview) really came out with a lot of energy," said Clay City coach Chris Ross. "And to their credit they did some things early to get some good looks at the basket."
What the Knights did early was get the ball inside to Whitted who hit all four of her shots in the opening period as Northview rushed out to a 24-4 advantage. In the period, Northview hit 12-of-14 shots from the field and held the Eels to just two-of-15 shooting and five turnovers.
"It was just a tough start," said Ross afterwards. "We kind of got caught on our heels and our young kids didn't come out strong with the ball."
In the Eel's defense, down by 20 points after just one quarter might cause a lot of teams to pack up and give up. But Clay City immediately began the second quarter with a 7-0 run to narrow the Northview lead to 24-11, but the Knights were just too strong and too tall up front for Clay City.
"I thought our kids made a nice run there in the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second," said Ross. "(Northview) is well-coached, they are very experienced and shoot well from the perimeter. When you add a 6'5 player in the middle it's tough to defend against."
The Eels played Northview nearly even in the second quarter but the Knights turned up the heat in the third quarter again and used their quickness and depth to tally 30 points in the period. "We have some kids who will just flat out play defense all night long," said Medworth. "I think the rest of the girls are starting to catch on too. Sara (Frazier) played good defense all night long and (Jennifer) Gregg did a good job too. She looked a little rusty in the junior varsity game but played well when we put her in the varsity game."
Gregg was just one of several Knights who put in strong efforts off the Northview bench.
Casey Challandes came off the pine to score 13 points and add nine rebounds as part of a 26 point, 14 rebound effort from Northview's bench players.
In all, six Knights reached double-figures and Whitney Medworth just missed becoming the seventh with her nine points. Laura McCrea scored nine of her 17 points in the second half and pulled down eight rebounds.
The Knights continued to shoot well in the second half as they pulled away. Northview shot 70 percent (23-of-33) from the field in the second half and 63 percent from the field for the game.
"We've got to get ready for Sullivan on Friday and Plainfield after that," commented Medworth of his 11-6 Knights. "We've got some tough games coming up and we need to be prepared."
The Knights will host conference opponent Sullivan at 6 p.m. on Homecoming at Northview High School as part of a boy/girl doubleheader. The Eels will host Eastern this evening at 6 p.m.
In the junior varsity game, Northview opened strong against the Eels and cruised to a 33-23 victory.
The Knights pulled out to a 12-6 lead after one quarter and pushed that advantage to 14 points several times before the Eels crept back to within 10 points at the end.
Kayla Harlan led all scorers with 12 points and Kellsy Maurer added nine with Lexee Hayes chipping in five points for Northview.
Clay City was topped by Chelsea Riggs who had eight points and Kristin Tyler added seven.
Clay City (38)
McWilliams 2-11 3-6 7, B.Rood 0-6 0-0 0, Thatcher 1-6 0-0 2, Gerber 4-14 1-2 9, Kennedy 0-3 0-0 0, Schopmeyer 2-4 1-2 5, Johnson 3-8 1-1 7, Collins 1-1 0-0 2, L.Rood 1-2 0-0 2, Riggs 0-3 0-3 0, Tyler 1-4 2-2 4. Totals: 16-60 8-16 38.
McCrea 7-9 3-6 17, Koehler 5-9 2-3 12, Medworth 4-8 0-0 9, Frazier 5-7 0-0 10, Whitted 9-12 0-1 18, Gregg 2-6 6-6 10, Challandes 4-6 5-5 13, Harlan 1-1 1-2 3, Spugnardi 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 37-59 17-23 92.
3-point fieldgoals -- Clay City 0-3 (McWilliams 0-2, Schopmeyer 0-1), Northview 1-2 (Medworth 1-2). Total Rebounds -- Clay City 29 (Tyler 3, Gerber 3), Northview 52 (Whitted 17, Challandes 9, McCrea 8). Total Fouls -- Clay City 18, Northview 16. Fouled out -- Northview (McCrea). Turnovers -- Clay City 14, Northview 14. Blocks -- Clay City 3 (Gerber 2), Northview 10 (Whitted 7).