What does not kill us makes us stronger is how the saying goes and likely is one that Northview's girls basketball team is paying heed to in the early stages of a brutal schedule of games.
The Knights have won just two of their seven games this year but those numbers do not tell the whole story of a schedule of games that thus far has been one of the state's toughest.
Northview has played seven games, five of them against teams that are currently rated in the top 50 in the state according to the Sagarin Ratings which take into consideration a team's record and the record of the teams that it has played to formulate a numerical ranking.
Of the 388 teams in the state of Indiana, Northview has played the 23rd most difficult schedule of all teams.
"You can look at that schedule and say, 'oh, we're 2-5, but you can also say that we've had two, 2-point losses to teams that are in the top 30 in the state," said coach Bob Medworth.
The Knights were within two points of Bloomington North, losing on a last second 3-pointer. The Cougars were in the top 30 at the time, but have fallen to 49th overall with the onset of some key injuries. Northview also had a one point lead on Terre Haute North on Tuesday night versus the Patriots before losing on another last second 3-pointer.
Also for Northview, the Knights have taken on Mooresville in the opening game. The Pioneers are the 16th overall team in the state and have played the 14th toughest schedule. Terre Haute South has also appeared twice on Northview's schedule.
The 7-3 Braves are currently the 20th team in the state and have the 33rd rated schedule while the Patriots are 22nd with the 44th hardest schedule.
While the Knights have just two wins to their credit thus far, Medworth believes the team is still confident.
"In my first game against Mooresville as a head coach we got annihilated," commented Medworth. "After the game I thought, man, we've got to change this schedule, but then I thought that we need to play teams like this to get to that level."
Northview indeed has one of the toughest sectionals in the state and with each tough contest, grows stronger in their preparation for the postseason.
The Knights compete in one of the toughest sectionals, that includes the aforementioned Braves, Patriots and Pioneers along with the eighth ranked team in Martinsville who has the second toughest schedule in the state. Plainfield is also in the sectional and is the 19th team with a schedule strength of 32nd.
The teams in Northview's sectional have a combined mark of 30-9 to this point of the year.
"It's rough sometimes," said Medworth. "But you have to keep your chin up, but I don't think the kids want to change our schedule either. I think we're getting better every game. Coach (Jon) Crooks has helped us a lot, but sometimes you'll take two steps forward and one back. I think if we go out and execute and win in our games, its because we're executing what we've been taught in practice."
Northview's schedule becomes a bit easier, according to the numbers, beginning this weekend when they face a 1-8 Edgewood team on Friday and follow that up with a Monday makeup game versus Riverton Parke (1-8) followed by a Jan. 3 game against a currently 3-5 Greencastle squad.