The Edgewood Mustangs were far from gracious visitors in Friday night's Western Indiana Conference battle that also marked the return of Northview head coach Mitch Lancaster to the Knights' bench.
In a foul prone, to say the least, contest, the Mustangs hit two free throws with just four-tenths of a second left in the game to take a tension filled 55-53 decision from Northview.
With just three seconds left in the contest, the Mustangs brought the ball inbounds and senior Kyle McGlone went up for the final shot along the baseline, the shot was short as the crowd volume reached epic proportions and it looked as if the game was headed to overtime. However, a foul was called on the shot and McGlone hit both free throws.
The Knights got off one final shot but Nick Wells' shot was just short at the buzzer.
"This was a tough game," commented Lancaster afterwards. "We didn't get any breaks in the second half and we didn't create any breaks for ourselves."
The Knights were in control during the first half, opening the contest with an 11-4 advantage and all the momentum after a steal and dunk by Wells midway through the opening quarter. Northview's defense was hassling Edgewood into rushed shots and early turnovers as Northview jumped out to a 15-7 lead through one period.
In the second quarter, the Knights kept up the pressure as Edgewood's top scorer, McGlone went to the bench with two early fouls.
Sophomore guards Brinn Meunier and Matt Stuckey provided an early spark and an offensive boost for the Knights.
Meunier tallied six points in the second quarter and Stuckey dropped in a pair of 3-pointers to help offset the loss of the 6'7 Wells to early foul problems
The troubles were an early indication of what was to come in the second half for Northview.
Leading 34-21 at halftime and seemingly in control, the whistles started coming fast and furious and with it, momentum began to swing after Heath Chamberlain put Northview ahead 36-23.
The Mustangs put together an 18-4 run that included 3-pointers from McGlone and Daniel Lindsay and Edgewood went to the foul line nine times to Northview's two in the quarter.
"In the third period the momentum just shifted, the officials felt it shift and so did we," commented Lancaster. "We had trouble defending in the post, their guys were cutting and slashing to the basket and drawing fouls."
Northview lost both Chamberlain and Wells to foul problems in the period and the Knights lost the lead when Lindsay nailed a late 3-pointer to give Edgewood their first lead at 41-40 that capped a 13-0 run for the Mustangs.
Senior Wade Thacker would help stop the bleeding temporarily when he knocked down a 3-pointer to end the period and give the Knights a brief lead.
In the final period the Northview foul trouble worsened as both Meunier, Shawn Hughes and Brodee Miller all picked up their fourth fouls and were forced to play on their heels.
Both teams took turns hitting big shots with the fourth quarter including five ties and four lead changes.
A Stuckey 3-pointer, part of his 11 point night, gave Northview a three point lead a 49-46 with 4:56 left. Edgewood, however, whittled the lead away from the free throw line as Scott Pederson hit a free throw and Garrett Butcher hit one-of-two to close the gap to 49-48 at the midpoint of the fourth quarter.
Lindsay would hit his third 3-pointer to give Edgewood a 51-49 lead and a McGlone free throw put the Mustangs ahead 52-49 with 56 seconds left. But Chamberlain hit a bucket that preceded a McGlone free throw at the other end that set the score at 53-51 with 30 seconds remaining.
Chamberlain would again answer for the Knights with time quickly dwindling. Edgewood would fire up a shot with just under six seconds left, but Wells blocked the attempt but the Mustangs retained the ball for a final chance with 3.1 seconds left leading up to McGlone's fateful final shot.
"Our defense was really great in the first," said Lancaster. "We played not to lose in the second half. We should have won this game and the West Vigo game, but they made the plays and we didn't."
For the game, Edgewood went to the line 32 times, hitting 22 and the Knights were called for a remarkable 28 fouls, 19 in the second half.
The Knights (2-4 overall, 1-2 WIC) will host Clay City on Tuesday night.
Meunier 2-5 4-4 8, Stuckey 3-8 2-2 11, Hughes 3-6 4-7 10, Wells 1-5 2-2 4, H.Chamberlain 4-6 2-6 10, Miller 1-3 2-2 4, Thacker 1-3 3-4 6, Reece 0-1 0-0 0, Brock 0-0 0-0 0, D.Chamberlain 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-38 19-27 53.
McGlone 6-9 6-9 20, Lindsey 5-14 0-0 13, Lowers 0-1 0-0 0, Butcher 1-9 6-12 8, Pederson 2-4 6-8 10, Beeman 0-3 0-0 0, Lay 0-2 4-4 4, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Breeden 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-42 22-32 55.
3-point fieldgoals -- Northview 4-13 (Stuckey 3-8, Thacker 1-2, Hughes 0-1, Meunier 0-2), Edgewood 5-13 (Lindsay 3-10, McGlone 2-2, Beeman 1-1). Total Rebounds -- Northview 34 (H.Chamberlain 15), Edgewood 22 (Butcher 4, Pederson 4). Total Fouls -- Northview 28, Edgewood 24. Fouled out -- Northview (Hughes, Miller), Edgewood (None). Turnovers -- Northview 13, Edgewood 9.