Early in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game against Brown County, the Northview Knights found themselves against the proverbial wall. Brown County had stolen all of the game's momentum and had taken a 48-39 lead after a 3-pointer from David Tatham.
Little was going the Knights' way and they had struggled with their shooting, hitting just two-of-eight from the field in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Eagles had pounded the ball inside to their 6'5, 230 lb. center Wes Fox for four baskets to take control of the game.
Instead of rolling their eyes and taking a 'here we go again' sort of mentality, the Knights finally showed what they are capable of when they play with passion.
Northview rallied behind Josiah Brock's seven fourth quarter points and Nick Wells took charge in overtime after a wild ending to regulation left the score tied. Nick Wells hit all three of his shots down the stretch in regulation and had a couple of critical blocks and then added five more points in overtime as the Knights rallied for a 67-65 win.
Facing that nine point disadvantage in the fourth quarter, junior forward Brodee Miller, coming off the bench after starting the first game, took a pass in the post and drove hard to the hoop, hitting the shot and drawing the foul. His three-point play seemed to spark the Knights.
Nick Wells, who had had little effect in the first half with just two points, went strong to the basket on back-to-back trips, scoring on a layin the first time and pulling down a board and getting the putback on the next one. Suddenly the Knights were within 48-46 and the fans began to believe, as well as the players, that a win was within reach.
"I didn't think we played with much energy early in the game," commented head coach Mitch Lancaster. "I think it was a combination of playing our first double weekend and a lack of confidence. Once we got some confidence at the end of the third quarter we started playing harder and you saw a whole different team."
The game see-sawed back and forth until the final minutes when a Wells hoop and a steal by Josiah Brock led to Wells being fouled and hitting a free throw to tie the game at 56-apiece with 1:21 remaining. Derek Eubanks would give the Eagles another lead with two free throws, but Brock would make a strong move on a drive, scoring and drawing the foul. His completed three-point play gave Northview a 59-58 lead with 50 seconds left.
Fox would draw a foul on the Eagle's ensuing trip down the court, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity from the line. Miller pulled down the rebound for the Knights and was fouled but would have no luck at the line either.
Brown County brought the ball back up the court and Brinn Meunier came up with a big steal along the baseline and was fouled with just 12.8 seconds left. His trip to the line was no more successful as his shot rimmed out. The Eagles brought the ball down to the court quickly and as they crossed the halfcourt line the ball was tipped free. In the ensuing struggle, Meunier was whistled for a foul that would send Eubanks to the line for a chance at a victory.
His first shot dropped, but the second one came free, Northview pulled down the board and the game headed to an extra session.
The Knights got the tip and almost immediately, Matt Stuckey drained a 15 foot jumper, his 16th point of the game and gave Northview a lead they would not relinquish.
Fox fouled out at the other end for the Eagles, ending his 18 point, six rebound evening. His departure set Wells free inside.
He went strong to the basket and was fouled, but the Knights' free throw woes continued as he missed four straight shots from the line after rebounding his own miss after the first two. He would make up for the misses however with a hoop underneath after Meunier saved the ball from going out of bounds on the endline. Wells would score on the next trip as well and completed a 3-point play that essentially put the game out of reach at 66-59. Despite a pair of late 3-pointers from the Eagles and a three-of-12 shooting performance from the line in overtime, the Knights earned their first win of the year.
Northview got some balanced scoring in the contest as four separate nights were in double-figures led by Brock's 17 and Stuckey's 16. Brodee Miller tallied 14 and added six boards with Wells scoring 13. Both Wells and Meunier each also had six rebounds.
"We needed some success," commented Lancaster afterwards. "We're still a work in progress. It's a growing process. A lot of our roles have changed from last year and some of the kids are trying to figure out what their (role) is right now. We're just glad to get a 'W'."
In the junior varsity game, Northview won a 46-32 decision as Trey Horn scored 13 points for the Knights. Tyler Coltharp added eight and both Zach Sanabria and Keaton Robertson had seven.
The Knights improve to 1-2 overall and will face West Vigo in a boy/girl doubleheader road trip on Friday evening beginning at 6 p.m.
Brown County (65)
Tatham 9-17 5-6 28, Cheek 1-11 0-0 2, Eubanks 4-14 3-4 15, Rubadue 0-2 0-0 0, Fox 7-8 4-5 18, Jacobs 0-3 0-0 0, Bright 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-56 14-17 65.
Meunier 1-7 1-5 3, Timm 2-3 0-0 4, Stuckey 6-14 0-0 16, Miller 6-9 2-5 14, Wells 6-9 1-5 13, Medearis 0-3 0-0 0, Brock 6-9 4-7 17. Totals: 30-60 9-25 67.
3-point fieldgoals -- BC 3-8 (Patrick 1-3, Kemerly 1-2, Sheckles 1-1, Minor 0-2), Nv 5-15 (Stuckey 4-10, Brock 1-2, Meunier 0-3). Total Rebounds -- BC 28 (Eubanks 8, Fox 6), Nv 35 (Wells 6, Meunier 6, Miller 6). Total Fouls -- BC 17, Nv 15. Fouled out -- BC (Fox), Nv (None). Turnovers -- BC 11, Nv 11.