Patience is a virtue as they say and finally it paid off for the Northview Knights on Friday night.
After losing a pair of tough, two-point games at home that came down-to-the-wire earlier this year, the Knights finally held off a scrappy Mooresville squad for victory, 37-31.
The work 'patient' can also be used to describe the pace of play for both teams in the early going and for much of the contest.
"We persevered tonight," said coach Mitch Lancaster of his Knights. "We knew the pace of the game would be like that. I thought the kids did a nice job tonight in getting out on their shooters."
After a first quarter that saw the Pioneers spread the floor and attempt just seven shots and score three points, the Knights held a tentative 5-3 lead through one period. But in the second quarter, senior guard Shawn Hughes took offensive charge for the Knights.
Hughes would score 10 of his 13 first half points in the quarter as Northview jumped out to a 19-13 lead after holding the Pioneers to just five-of-17 (29 percent) shooting from the field in the half.
"(Shawn) Hughes' leadership was great tonight," noted Lancaster. "All the kids stepped up and played hard. Hughes not only had nice offensive game but also held their best player (Josh Jones) to just four points."
Mooresville wouldn't go quietly however, running off five quick points to open the second half on a 3-pointer from Leland Kinnett and a John Fields drive to get within 19-18. The Pioneers would eventually tie the score on a Fields 3-pointer to close the period on five-of-eight shooting from the field.
After a Heath Chamberlain basket underneath the basket and a big 3-pointer from Wade Thacker, his only shot of the game, Fields sandwiched a pair of long range shots around two Brinn Meunier free throws to get within 32-31 with 2:35 left.
Hughes had left the game after taking an elbow to the throat on a drive with 4:28 left in the game, but being the leader he is, Hughes returned after Fields' 3-pointer and immediately took the ball to the hoop for a 34-31 Northview lead.
From there, the Pioneers, after hitting four of their first seven 3-pointers of the second half, went cold from the perimeter as Northview closed out defensively. Mooresville missed their final eight from outside, hitting just two-of-11 shots in the final quarter and Northview got three free throws from Chamberlain down the stretch for the win.
"Our first goal was to stay in front of (Mooresville)," said Lancaster. "Their guys, especially their big guys, like to beat you off the dribble and get to the basket, but we did a good job of keeping them on the outside. We gave up some 3-pointers but they didn't hit enough of them."
The Knights (9-8 overall) shift gears now and face off with an uptempo Plainfield squad this evening.
In junior varsity action the Knights dropped to 9-6 overall with a 40-35 loss. Michael Medearis scored 10 points and Ryan Brown added seven.
Jones 1-3 2-3 4, Kinnett 1-11 0-0 3, Fields 8-12 0-0 20, Davis 1-2 0-0 2, T.Mossbrucker 0-1 0-0 0, K.Mossbrucker 1-5 0-0 3, Dowden 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 12-29 2-3 32.
Meunier 2-4 2-2 6, Hughes 7-11 0-0 17, Wells 2-4 0-0 4, Miller 0-1 0-1 0, H.Chamberlain 2-4 3-4 7, Thacker 1-1 0-0 3, Stuckey 0-0 0-0 0, Reece 0-0 0-0 0, Brock 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-25 5-7 37.
3-point fieldgoals -- Mooresville 6-23 (Fields 4-7, Kinnett 1-9, K.Mossbrucker 1-5, Davis 0-1, T.Mossbrucker 0-1), Northview 4-6 (Hughes 3-4, Thacker 1-1, Meunier 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Mooresville 11 (Dowden 3), Northview 23 (H.Chamberlain 10). Total Fouls -- Mooresville 16, Northview 7. Turnovers -- Mooresville 7, Northview 13.