The streak continues.
With a significant size advantage inside thanks to 6'7 Heath Chamberlain and 6'8 Nick Wells, the Knights outrebounded Clay City nearly two-to-one on the way to a 59-34 victory on Tuesday night. The victory extended the Northview winning streak over the Eels to 16 games in a row.
The Eels were within 26-19 at halftime, but Northview opened the third period with a 15-2 run that effectively ended Clay City's chances at victory.
Shawn Hughes knocked down a 3-pointer to open the half for Northview and after a Nick Wells free throw and a drive for two points from Brinn Meunier, Matt Stuckey drilled a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around Clay City's only two points during the streak.
Stuckey tallied a game-high 15 points for the Knights, including a trio of trifectas.
"We knew (Stuckey) could shoot," said Clay City coach Grant McVay. "He hit a couple of 3's in the third quarter, during which we didn't score for 10 possessions. Obviously we're not explosive enough of a team to over come that run."
The 13 point swing gave the Knights a 40-21 following a Chamberlain basket and the Eels were unable to counter the Northview haymaker.
On the defensive side of the ball the Knights held Clay City's leading scorer, Garrett Thatcher, to just two points in the first half while they built a lead thanks to balanced scoring.
Chamberlain missed nearly the entire first half after a pair of quick fouls in the first period, but the Knights got seven points from Stuckey and six from Jacob Reece off the bench.
"We brought Stuckey up from the JV team because he's a shooter," said Northview coach Mitch Lancaster. "We've got confidence in him and we'd like for him to build some confidence as well. (Jacob) Reece played well in the JV game tonight and we're trying to get him some confidence too. He's a good athlete and I think once he gets over his football legs, he's going to keep getting better."
The Eels were able to stay close thanks to nearly 50 percent shooting in the first half, despite turning the ball over 13 times. But in the second half, the Eels were unable to find the basket with any regularity.
"We shot the ball well in the first half," commented McVay. "But we turned the ball over 13 times. We only turn the ball over five times in the second half, but we couldn't even hit a layup."
The Eels would make just five-of-23 shots in the second half and the Knights pulled down 10 third period boards to just five for Clay City. Northview knocked down six-of-11 shots from the field in the quarter and were able to get to the free throw line 24 times in the second half.
Much of that was thanks to the inside advantage of Wells and Chamberlain.
Wells posted 14 points in the game, including six points and a dunk in the fourth quarter followed by a block on the defensive end that kept the Knights' lead at 48-30.
Chamberlain added nine points and nine rebounds in just over two quarters of play and Wells added six more rebounds for the Knights who improve to 3-4 overall heading into the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic Tourney beginning on Dec. 27.
"We need every bit of confidence we can get right now," said Lancaster of his team. For McVay's squad who drops to 3-4 overall, a two-week break looms before their next game in the second day of the Greene County Tourney versus Linton on Jan. 5.
"This is probably my favorite time of the year," mentioned McVay. "Since the IHSAA has put the hammer to us (and shortened the preseason practice schedule by a week). I love the chance to practice and teach the game. When you play as many Tuesday games as we do, it doesn't leave much time to practice. Christmas (break) provides us a chance to focus on nothing but basketball."
Meunier 2-7 1-4 5, Stuckey 5-7 2-2 15, Hughes 2-5 4-5 9, Wells 5-7 4-6 14, H.Chamberlain 4-5 1-2 9, Thacker 0-2 0-0 0, Reece 2-4 1-2 6, Brock 0-0 1-2 1, Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Sanabria 0-0 0-0 0, Crooks 0-0 0-0 0, D.Chamberlain 0-1 0-0 0, Medearis 0-0 0-0 0, Brock 0-0 1-2 1, Reberger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-39 14-26 59.
Clay City (34)
Griffith 2-6 0-0 4, Roeschlein 1-4 1-2 3, Vansickle 1-6 2-4 5, Dyer 4-11 0-1 10, Thatcher 5-13 0-0 10, Schroer 0-0 0-0 0, Knox 0-1 2-2 2, Shouse 0-0 0-0 0, Farmer 0-0 0-0 0, Bettenbrock 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 13-41 5-9 34.
3-point fieldgoals -- Northview 5-9 (Stuckey 3-4, Hughes 1-2, Reece 1-1, Thacker 0-2), Clay City 3-9 (Dyer 2-3, Vansickle 1-4, Roeschlein 0-1, Knox 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Northview 31 (H.Chamberlain 9, Wells 6), Clay City 16 (Roeschlein 5, Dyer 3). Total Fouls -- Northview 13, Clay City 20. Fouled out -- Clay City (Vansickle). Turnovers -- Northview 17, Clay City 18.