Abby Birkey (#22) sends up a runner in Wednesday's game. Birkey had two points.
SPENCER -- Northview's reserve girls basketball team learned a pair of valuable lessons in the semifinals of the conference tournament on Wednesday evening. Never underestimate an opponent and when you play hard and focused, you can overcome nearly insurmountable odds.
However, the emphasis against Owen Valley on Wednesday is the word 'nearly' as the Patriots held off a Northview team that began the game very sluggish. The Knights rallied fiercely in the final quarter but they ran out of time in a 33-30 defeat.
"I told them before the game that they needed to come out and play," said reserve coach Jennifer Daugherty. "So we had to play catchup. It's disappointing because we fought back so hard."
Indeed, the Knights fell behind 22-12 at halftime as Owen Valley was clearly the aggressor in the first half, knocking down seven-of-nine shots in the first quarter to lead 15-7.
Freshman Adrian Gillaspy knocked down her first two shots from the field and then added an exclamation point to end the period when she nailed a 3-pointer as part of her game-high 12 points.
Northview still couldn't mount any sort of momentum in the second quarter, continuing to turn the ball over and struggle to find a rhythm. Nine first half turnovers helped lead the Patriots to control the momentum in taking the double-digit first half advantage.
Beginning the second half, the Knights got a basket from Hannah Hunter and three points from Kayla Raderstorf in the third period.
Unfortunately, Northview got just five points in the quarter and the Patriots continued to play strongly in getting out to a 32-17 lead that seemed to close the door on the Knights.
But all was not lost yet for Northview who, backs against the wall, buckled down in the fourth period.
Spring Raines knocked down a 3-pointer to open the quarter and the Patriots' Natasha Deatrick missed the front end of a one-and-one at the free throw line.
Deatrick's miss would set the tone for the Patriots who would help Northview's cause by missing nine-of-10 free throws in the final period.
Meanwhile the Knights continued to chip away at the lead.
Raines would hit a pair of short jumpers in the lane and Traci Sanders sank a 3-pointer following a Hunter free throw to get the Knights within 32-28.
The Patriots missed two more free throws with 44 seconds left and Raines got Northview within two points on another jumper from six feet out. Owen Valley missed two more shots from the charity stripe with 30 seconds left in the game, but Raines hot streak came to an end with a miss and a jump ball on the rebound went to the Patriots.
Owen Valley's Kirt Evans sank one-of-two shots from the line with 14 seconds left to make it a 33-30 lead and the Knights missed another chance at a tie.
But Northview had one more shot left as Jordyn Henson went to the line and missed two shots with 2.8 seconds left, but a halfcourt pass from the Knights was intercepted to secure the Owen Valley victory.
"We've got to be ready to play (tonight)," said Daugherty. "Spring (Raines) really came in and gave us some shots that we needed tonight."
Northview will take on West Vigo this evening in the third place game at 6:30 p.m.
Western Indiana Conference Tournament
At Owen Valley
Hunter 2-3 1-2 5, Sanders 1-4 0-0 3, Birkey 1-5 0-1 2, Crooks 1-1 0-0 3, Raderstorf 3-5 1-3 7, Sp.Raines 4-12 0-0 9, St.Raines 0-1 0-0 0, Lee 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 12-32 1-3 7.
Owen Valley (33)
Gillasply 5-7 0-0 12, Poland 2-4 0-3 5, Deatrick 2-5 1-3 5, Evans 3-4 1-4 7, Henson 0-0 0-4 0, Harrell 1-1 0-0 2, York 0-1 0-0 0, Kinnick 1-3 0-2 2. Totals: 14-25 2-14 33.
3-point fieldgoals -- NV 3-14 (Sp. Raines 1-7, Birkey 0-2, Crooks 1-1, Sanders 1-4), OV 3-5 (Poland 1-1, Gillaspy 2-3, York 0-1). Total Rebounds -- NV 24 (Hunter 5), OV 16 (Evans 4). Total Fouls -- NV 18, OV 10. Turnovers -- NV 16, OV 11.