- Whitted's 23 points not enough against Plainfield -
TERRE HAUTE -- The Plainfield Quakers are proving to foes across the state that a good defense is hard to beat.
Count the Northview Knights as true believers as well.
For the second time in a week the Quakers rode a successful half court trap to a victory over the Knights. This time however, the Knights won't get another chance.
Plainfield forced 25 turnovers, six in a decisive third quarter that saw the Quakers turn a 27-23 deficit into a 41-33 advantage
"I thought we were really going to come out strong (in the second half)," commented Northview coach Bob Medworth. "We lost some confidence and when you play a team that can trap like they can, as soon as they can see that fear, they just get stronger."
While that trapping style of defense proved successful in the third quarter and early in the fourth, the Knights still battled back at the end.
After Plainfield's Megan Brock hit one of her three 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to put the Quakers ahead 46-35, the Knights started a rally keyed by pressure defense of their own.
Northview sophomore Julie Whitted picked up a hoop and foul to narrow the gap to 50-42 with 3:30 remaining in the game and the Knights put on a half court press that led to a back-to-back turnovers by Plainfield.
The second led to a drive to the basket by senior Whitney Medworth who got the basket and another foul for a 3-point play and suddenly the Knights were within 50-45 with three minutes remaining.
"I'm really proud of the girls," said Medworth. "They showed a lot of guts tonight in coming back. Some teams I think would have just rolled over when they got behind. I think time just sort of ran out on us."
After a free throw by Megan Egenolf pushed the lead back to 51-45, the two teams traded turnovers before Laura McCrea was fouled for the Knights and knocked down both free throws. Her charity tosses narrowed the Quaker lead to just 51-47 with 1:39 left in the game.
On the ensuing possession for Plainfield, the Knights got another steal but Sara Frazier's shot wouldn't go down and the Knights fouled Mary Pearcy who hit both her shots to up the lead to 53-47.
After Whitted hit another basket, good for her 23rd point of the game, Brock and Medworth each traded a set of free throws.
Trailing 55-51 with 44 seconds remaining the Knights were unable to get any closer despite the Quakers hitting just three of their final six free throws in the closing seconds.
Whitted was the game's high scorer and rebounder with 23 points and 10 rebounds and senior forward Erica Koehler scored 11 points in her final high school contest. Medworth was held to nine points in the game.
"We knew their game plan would be to try and shut Julie (Whitted) down," commented Medworth. "They didn't double-team as much as we thought (Plainfield) would, but they put their best defender on Whitney (Medworth) and they stuck to her like glue."
Plainfield got a 19 point effort from Brock who hit a trio of 3-pointers and the Quakers put three players in double-figures with Egenolf adding 11 points and Jessica Wolfe chipping in 13 points.
For the Knights, three starters from Tuesday's sectional game, who've led the Knights resurgence from a three win season three years ago to a combined 28 victories the past two seasons, will graduate. Sara Frazier, Koehler and Medworth are all seniors along with former starter Amy Thiemann who hasn't played recently due to injury.
Northview finishes the year at 13-8 overall while Plainfield will head to the sectional semifinals on Friday night.
Terre Haute South Sectional
Egenolf 4-8 3-4 11, Brock 6-14 4-6 19, Pearcy 1-2 3-6 5, Helgason 1-3 1-2 3, Wolfe 4-11 4-5 13, Williams 1-3 0-0 2, Lutocka 2-4 1-1 5, Fahnestock 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-46 16-24 58.
McCrea 1-2 2-6 4, Koehler 4-5 3-3 11, Medworth 2-10 4-5 9, Frazier 0-5 1-2 1, Whitted 11-14 1-1 23, Gregg 1-4 1-2 3, Challandes 0-0 0-0 0, Palmer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-40 12-19 51.
3-point fieldgoals -- Plainfield 4-8 (Brock 3-5, Wolfe 1-1, Helgason 0-1), Northview 1-6 (Medworth 1-5, McCrea 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Plainfield 25 (Pearcy 5), Northview 24 (Whitted 10). Total Fouls -- Plainfield 18, Northview 21. Fouled out -- Plainfield (Williams), Northview (Koehler). Turnovers -- Plainfield 17, Northview 25.