Terre Haute North lived up to their billing as one of the state's top teams on Friday night with a 66-41 thumping of Northview.
The Patriots came into the game ranked as the 18th team in the state, regardless of classification, by the Indiana Basketball Coaches' Association, and didn't disappoint their fans.
Three different Patriots hit double figures and one fell just one point short in downing the Knights on their home court.
"(Terre Haute) North is a great team," said Northview coach Tony Trout. "They experienced, disciplined and they did a good job of turning up the pressure on us tonight."
Northview rode some early momentum on a three-point play by Nick Wells in the early going to remain tight with the Patriots midway through the first quarter. Things began to look even brighter for the Knights when talented sophomore Nate Blank went to the bench with two quick fouls in the first period.
But what makes North a very tough opponent is their scoring depth.
The Patriots got six points apiece in the first period from Jason Gilmore and Dan O'Leary and was able to handle the Knights on the boards 8-3 to pull out to a 16-5 lead after one quarter. North held Northview scoreless for nearly half of the first quarter and took four more shots as well.
"In the first three minutes we were able to get a couple of inside feeds," said Trout. "But then they hit a few shots and we began to get impatient."
A sizable team as well, the Patriots would outrebound Northview 32-18 for the game which helped result in 16 more shots from the field than the Knights. "With our size, we believe that rebounding should be one of our strengths," commented Trout. "I was very disappointed in our rebounding and our lack of aggressive pursuit to the ball."
The Patriots were able to hit a variety of midrange and long range jumpers in the first half while the Knights struggled to find a consistent rhythm on the offensive half of the court. Northview would hit just five-of-13 shots in the first half. Meanwhile, the experienced Patriots hit 13-of-23 attempts in pulling ahead 32-12 after 16 minutes of action.
"Certainly we wanted to keep (our defense) packed in against them," mentioned Trout. "But they were able to hit their outside shots and some of our inexperience with the ball created turnovers."
In the second half, the Patriots showcased their perimeter shooting by hitting six shots from long range and holding off any thoughts the Knights had of making a sustained run.
Shawn Hughes made several nice drives in the third period to get the Knights off their offensive snide. "Shawn (Hughes) really made some nice penetrations tonight," noted Trout of his senior guard who tallied 10 points. Northview would close to within 18 a couple of times in the third period but the Patriots seemingly responded with a 3-pointer each time to end the run.
Blank would warm up, hitting a 3-pointer following a Nick Wells basket and would end with 12 points. But he was supported by O'Leary who tallied 11 points and North got a team-high 14 from Gilmore.
The Knights would hit 10-of-17 shots in the second half, but the Patriots, spurred by their long range shots and nine-of-23 shooting of their own, were too much for Northview to overcome.
"It's early in the season," commented Trout in reference to his team's inexperience. "We're hoping to get better as the season progresses. We've got a tough game tomorrow in our WIC opener."
The Knights will make the trip to Brown County today for a junior varsity/varsity boy/girl doubleheader that begins at 2 p.m.
In the junior varsity game, Northview rallied from a double-digit deficit in the final three minutes of the game, but would fall short, 31-23 to the Patriots.
Matt Stuckey had nine points on a trio of 3-pointers and Josiah Brock added four points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Thacker 1-6 3-5 5, Hughes 4-6 2-2 10, Wells 5-5 1-4 11, Miller 0-1 0-2 0, H.Chamberlain 2-5 4-7 8, Reece 1-2 0-0 2, Brock 2-2 1-2 5, D.Chamberlain 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Meunier 0-0 0-0 0, Stuckey 0-0 0-0 0, Sanabria 0-1 0-0 0, Medearis 0-0 0-0 0, Crooks 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-30 11-22 41.
T.H. North (66)
O'Leary 4-7 1-1 11, Hancewicz 1-3 0-0 3, Blank 4-11 3-3 12, Jeffers 3-6 0-0 6, Gilmore 6-9 2-2 14, Johnson 3-5 1-1 9, Hall 1-3 0-0 3, Conner 1-3 4-6 6, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Evans 0-0 2-3 2. Totals: 23-46 13-16 66.
3-point fieldgoals -- Northview 0-7 (Thacker 0-5, Sanabria 0-1, D.Chamberlain 0-1), T.H. North 8-18 (Johnson 2-3, Jeffers 1-2, Blank 1-4, Hancewicz 1-2, Conner 0-1, O'Leary 2-3, Hall 1-3). Total Rebounds -- Northview 18 (H.Chamberlain 5, Wells 4), T.H. North 32 (Gilmore 6, Blank 6). Total Fouls -- Northview 19, T.H. North 20. Fouled out -- Northview (H.Chamberlain, Hughes), T.H. North (none). Turnovers -- Northview 19, T.H. North 14.