-Terre Haute South wins first Wabash Valley Classic title
TERRE HAUTE -- Northview picked a great time to play their best game of the season on Thursday night.
The Knights scored a season-high 76 points and held high-scoring Bethesda Christian to just 56 points in winning the third place contest at the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic.
Coming into Thursday's contest, the Patriots had averaged 70 points per game over their three games at the tourney, but Northview put the clamps on Bethesda on the interior and forced them into taking 27 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. While the Patriots did make nine of them, five of them came in the fourth quarter after the game had already been decided.
"The kids came to play tonight," said Northview coach Mitch Lancaster. "I'm really proud of our effort. I think it's probably the best we've played this season."
Indeed, the Knights followed much the same script they have all season for the beginning of the contest.
Northview jumped out to a quick 13-0 advantage over the first 5:33 of the game. Nick Wells picked up eight first period points and Wade Thacker knocked down his only 3-pointer of the game to give the Knights a quick boost. But as has happened many times this year, the Knights' opponent clawed back into the game as Northview went stagnant on the offensive end.
The Patriots got 10 first period points from Jason Cook, who set a Classic record with 29 free throws in the tourney, to keep them close, 18-15 heading into the second period.
The teams were within 29-25 at halftime as Wells scored 16 points for the Knights on eight-of-nine shooting from the field.
In the second half however it was senior leadership that led the way for the Knights.
Northview lit up Terre Haute South's gym with a seven-of-11 performance from the field and also hit all seven of their free throws.
Senior guard Shawn Hughes was a perfect three-of-three from the field in the third period and six-of-six in the second half on his way to a 19 point evening. Seventeen of those points came in the second half and helped spur a pivotal 19-2 run in between the third and fourth quarters that sealed the win.
Hughes was key with his drives to the basket and Heath Chamberlain scored nine of his 14 in the second half and pulled down eight boards.
"Shawn (Hughes) played well tonight and defended well. He came to play tonight, using his strength to get to the basket," said Lancaster. "I'd say it was the best game (offensively and defensively) of his career."
Defending the Patriots' leading scorer, Cook, Hughes held him to two-of-12 shooting in the final three quarters.
Leading 42-36 after a Josh Simpson 3-pointer in the third period, the Knights shut down the Patriots on the defensive end and took control.
Matt Stuckey scored his only points of the game on a 3-pointer and after a Jake Heffner basket, Brinn Meunier hit two free throws, Hughes picked up a hoop and Chamberlain finished the period with a basket and the Knights led 51-38.
The onslaught continued in the final quarter as Hughes hit back-to-back hoops followed by a Chamberlain basket. Hughes capped a superb personal, and team, run with two more free throws and another drive to the basket for a 61-38 lead.
The Knights led by as many as 24 in the closing minutes before subbing liberally in the final minute and a half.
Wells led the Knights with 22 points in the game and the Knights got 10 players in the scoring column in moving to 6-5 overall and building momentum heading into the second half of the season.
"This win gives us a lot of confidence," mentioned Lancaster. "(Bethesda) beat a good Marshall, Ill. team and played Terre Haute North as tough as anybody, tougher than us. So we issued (our team) a challenge and I think we roasted that challenge tonight."
The Knights will be back in action on Jan. 7 in a boy/girl doubleheader at Owen Valley beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Meunier 1-3 4-4 7, Thacker 1-3 0-0 3, Hughes 7-12 5-6 19, Wells 10-14 2-3 22, H.Chamberlain 4-8 6-10 14, Miller 0-1 3-4 3, Stuckey 1-2 0-0 3, Reece 0-0 2-2 2, Reberger 0-0 2-2 2, Medearis 1-1 0-0 2, Brock 0-0 1-2 1, Sanabria 0-1 0-0 0, Crooks 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-40 23-31 76.
Bethesda Christian (56)
Midla 4-10 0-0 11, Battista 1-2 2-2 4, Richardson 1-4 0-0 2, Heffner 1-4 0-0 2, Cook 4-19 6-6 17, Henry 2-4 1-1 6, Adkins 0-0 0-0 0, Brandyberry 2-4 0-0 4, Penner 2-7 2-2 7. Totals: 17-58 11-11 56.
3-point fieldgoals -- Northview 3-7 (Meunier 1-3, Stuckey 1-2, Thacker 1-1, Sanabria 0-1), BC 9-27 (Cook 3-11, Midla 3-5, Simpson 1-3, Penner 1-1, Henry 1-3, Richardson 0-3, Battista 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Northview 29 (H.Chamberlain 8, Wells 5), BC 22 (Cook 6). Total Fouls -- Northview 11, BC 24. Turnovers -- Northview 8, BC 9.