PLAINFIELD -- Perseverance has become a buzzword this season for the Northview Knights.
After recent nailbiters versus Owen Valley (W - 83-80 4OT) and a 37-32 victory on Friday night against Mooresville, the Knights survived another battle to the wire with Plainfield by sinking crucial free throws in the end of a 58-40 victory.
"We persevered," commented coach Mitch Lancaster of his Knights. "We made some shots at the end. This was a nice double win weekend for us."
Few would have thought that the contest would come down to free throws at the end of the game as Northview held a comfortable lead for much of the game while Plainfield struggled to find their shooting range.
The Quakers hit just 10-of-46 (22 percent) from the field for the first three quarters. Meanwhile, the Knights would get 15 first half points from Nick Wells and seven from senior Shawn Hughes in taking a 31-16 halftime advantage. Heath Chamberlain dominated on the glass for Northview who outrebounded Plainfield 28-10 in the first half. Chamberlain pulled down 17 rebounds in the game, 10 in the first half, for the Knights who denied the Quakers many second-chance opportunities.
The Knights held a comfortable second half lead 39-23 near the end of the third quarter, but the Quakers finally found their stroke from the perimeter in the fourth quarter.
Plainfield ratcheted up their full court press on defense and Justin Smith and Tyran Fakes got going on the offensive end.
Fakes converted a three point play early in the final period and Smith drilled a 3-pointer that got the home crowd started as the Quakers closed within 40-31.
After Hughes hit a pair of free throws, Fakes scored followed by a Smith 3-pointer to get Plainfield within 42-36.
Northview sophomore Brinn Meunier, scoreless until the fourth period, scored on a short jumper and then got to the free throw line for a pair of shots that increased the lead temporarily back to double digits at 46-36. But Smith answered back with a three point play with 4:05 remaining.
Hughes hit another pair of free throws before Craig Ray drilled a 3-pointer from the side, his only points of the game, to get the Quakers within 48-42, and fed the frenzy of a suddenly raucous home crowd.
At the other end, Wells was whistled for a questionable technical foul that only served to raise the decibel level of Quaker followers.
Jake Dunn hit one-of-two free throws and on the ensuing Plainfield possession, Fakes also hit a free throw to get the Quakers within 48-44.
But Hughes would score on a drive to the basket to briefly quiet the crowd before Plainfield's leading-scorer, Robbie Hofmann, hit a 3-pointer, and suddenly Plainfield was on the doorstep at 50-37.
Things looked even more tentative for the Knights when they turned the ball over on the next possession, but Plainfield returned the favor. The Knights nearly gave the ball back at the midcourt line as Hofmann nearly made a steal from Meunier. But Hofmann was whistled for a reach-in foul and was given a technical for his response to an official.
Meunier would hit one of the technical free throws and then both foul shots to increase the Northview lead to 53-47 with under two minutes to play. The Quakers got two more points from Smith, who had 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, but the Knights got a pair of game closing buckets from Hughes to finish off Plainfield.
Hughes and Wells tied for team scoring honors with 18 apiece and the Knights improved to 10-8 overall with a home game versus South Putnam on Thursday night.
Meunier 1-5 6-8 8, Hughes 6-12 6-14 18, Wells 5-8 8-9 18, Miller 1-3 0-0 2, H.Chamberlain 4-7 2-4 10, Thacker 0-2 0-0 0, Stuckey 0-1 0-0 0, Reece 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 18-40 22-35 58.
Sauer 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 8-20 3-5 22, Dunn 1-3 1-3 3, Hofmann 4-15 1-1 10, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Wheeler 1-5 0-0 2, Ray 1-4 0-2 3, Money 0-3 1-2 1, Fakes 3-8 2-4 8. Totals: 18-63 7-16 49.
3-point fieldgoals -- Northview 0-2 (Thacker 0-2), Plainfield 5-20 (Smith 3-10, Hofmann 1-5, Ray 1-1, Wheeler 0-3, Bergeson 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Northview 40 (H.Chamberlain 17, Wells 8), Plainfield 23 (Fakes 6). Total Fouls -- Northview 15, Plainfield 23. Fouled out -- Northview (Wells). Technical fouls -- Northview (Wells), Plainfield (Hofmann). Turnovers -- Northview 20, Plainfield 13.