The Northview Knights could not make the visiting South Putnam Eagles go away Thursday night.
The Knights scored the first seven points of the game, but the Eagles were right there when the quarter ended. Northview led by 10 at halftime, but South Putnam was just four points down going into the final quarter. And with over five minutes left on the clock, Northview led by just one point.
The Knights hit 16-of-21 free throws in the fourth quarter to pull out the 64-57 win over South Putnam. It was the third straight win for Northview and fifth in their last six games.
"We're winning basketball games where earlier in the year we might have lost them. This was a game that could have went either way," Northview coach Mitch Lancaster said.
"South Putnam is a well coached (team). Coach (Kyle) Brewer is a class
act with great kids who work hard. (They are) very strong in their athleticism. It was really hard for us. When the ball was in the air they were very quick to get it," Lancaster said.
Heath Chamberlain led Northview with 24 points and six rebounds, including an 11-point fourth quarter.
"I thought Chamberlain had a good game. As [Chamberlain] has progressed as the year has went on and he's got into basketball shape and has been able to play more minutes. He's lost weight and it's made him that much better. He's become really a dominant force for us when he gets one-on-one," Lancaster said.
Shawn Hughes scored 13 points, but made a lot of things happen on the defensive end, too.
"You can always count on Shawn to give you his best effort. Tonight he stepped up when we needed him offensively, defensively, loose balls, steals at the end of the game," Lancaster said.
South Putnam (9-9) got a strong double-double from forward Matt Hicks with 14 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out. Drew Christy took the ball to the basket for 13 points.
"I thought Drew played real hard. That's the best I've seen Drew attacking the basket," South Putnam Coach Kyle Brewer said.
Both teams struggled with foul trouble all night. Northview hit 22-of-28 free throws, while South Putnam hit 12-of-15.
"It was a game in which (the officials) really didn't let them play. I don't know that (the officials) did a particularly poor job, but it was one of those games you had to adjust to how close it was being called.
(There were) a lot of free throws shot, especially on our part and so I guess we were the benefactor there," Lancaster said.
Northview built leads of 10 and 11 points in the first two quarters, 32-21 at halftime, and went ahead 35-21 when Brinn Meunier opened the second half with 3-pointers. But when the final eight minutes started, South Putnam trailed by just four points.
"The first 16 minutes of the game was a big part of the game for us. I didn't think we did a very good job of containing their post guys inside (the first half)," South Putnam's Brewer said.
"Northview had a good game plan the first half, getting the ball inside. We talked about that a lot at halftime and I thought our kids, the last two quarters, did a better job, still not a great job of shutting down their inside game."
Christy hit a spinning jump shot in the lane to bring South Putnam to within one, 44-43, with 5:20 to play.
Northview went to the post, Chamberlain. The 6-foot-7, 290-pound center scored four straight points, two on free throws, to put the Knights up 48-43. It was a matter of hitting free throws from that point and Hughes, Chamberlain, Brodee Miller and Jacob Reece hit 'em with the game on the line.
Northview also won the JV game 45-31.
South Putnam (57) -- Hicks 4-12 5-6 14, Beasor 2-3 4-4 8, Roberts 2-3 3-4 7, Christy 6-10 0-1 13, Anderson 0-4 0-0 0, Chestnut 3-8 0-0 9, Hassler 1-4 0-0 3, McKinney 0-0 0-0 0, Nees 1-1 0-0 3, Cash 0-0 0-0 0, McKee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-45 FG, 12-15 FT, 57 TP.
Wells 4-6 0-0 8, Miller 2-2 4-4 8, Chamberlain 8-12 8-10 24, Meunier 1-2 0-0 3, Hughes 3-8 6-9 13, Thacker 0-2 0-0 0, Stuckey 0-1 1-2 1, Reece 0-1 2-2 2, Medearis 2-2 1-1 5. Totals 20-36 FG, 22-28 FT, 64 TP.
3 Pt. Goals: SP 7-16 (Chestnut 3-7, Nees 1-1, Hicks 1-2, Christy 1-2, Hassler 1-4), Nv 2-7 (Meunier 1-1, Hughes 1-3, Thacker 0-1, Stuckey 0-1, Reece 0-1). Total fouls: SP 22, Nv 15. Fouled out: Hicks, Beasor, Christy. Technical fouls: None. Rebounds: SP 24 (Hicks 11), Nv 26 (Hughes 7, Chamberlain 6). Turnovers: SP 9, Nv 9.
Next game -- Northview (11-8) travels to Greencastle on Feb. 15 and
South Putnam (9-9) plays at Owen Valely on Feb. 18.