Top: Northview junior guard Brinn Meunier (#11) goes in for a layup attempt as Jared Maners of Owen Valley attempts to block the shot.
Bottom: Brodee Miller (with ball) dribbles away from pressure applied by Owen Valley's Brian Jones in the first half of Thursday's Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic.
TERRE HAUTE -- This season might be the first visit to the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic for the Owen Valley Patriots, but they are quickly getting the hang of what it takes to win the championship.
The Patriots got off to a hot start on the back of guard Harry Marshall's 18 point first half and then held on for dear life as Northview staged a furious rally that came up just short in a 47-42 Patriot victory.
The win propels the unbeaten (9-0) Patriots into the championship of the tournament against the host Terre Haute North Patriots, a 63-34 winner over rival Terre Haute South.
In front of a capacity, and raucous gym full of fans, Owen Valley held a 10-6 lead after one quarter of play before Marshall really took control of the game.
Marshall scored eight of the Patriots' 10 points in the first period, but hit all four of his shots from the field and both free throw attempts as Owen Valley scored 23 second quarter points.
"Marshall is a great athlete, we didn't have an answer for him," said Northview coach Mitch Lancaster afterwards.
The Knights struggled to find their offensive rhythm, getting 10 first half points from sophomore Jared Timm and four from Nick Wells, but fell behind 33-21 at the halftime break.
"We're playing better defensively," commented Lancaster. "But we're having trouble scoring right now and at the 4A level if you can't get balanced scoring, it's going to be tough."
The Knights played tough in the second half and it nearly yielded an impressive comeback victory.
Neither team could score in the early stages of the second half as Owen Valley slowed the pace of the contest. Marshall hit a pair of free throws at the 5:34 mark to open the scoring in the second half and extend the Patriots' advantage to 35-21.
But the Knights began their long trip back into the game as Timm hit a short jumper off the break and Wells followed with a free throw and a basket following a pair of Jared Maners free throws. Timm came back and answered with a 3-pointer to get within 37-29. On the ensuing inbound play, a foul was called on Owen Valley Kyle Mortimer. The possession went back to the Knights who got a pair of free throws from Wells and suddenly Northview was within 37-31.
Marshall answered for the Patriots with a jumper on the ensuing possession, but after a Northview turnover and a Maners missed shot, Wells scored the final points of the period to send the Knights into the final quarter trailing just 39-33.
Wells continued spurring the Northview comeback with a basket of a lob to the post and after Marshall scored two free throws, Wells scored off a tip-in and a free throw to close within 41-38. The Patriots responded by stalling their offense and holding the ball at the halfcourt line for nearly two minutes, down to the halfway mark of the quarter.
Their plan had mixed results, shortening the game, but they also turned the ball over when Maners stumbled and lost the ball out of bounds.
At the other end, the Knights got the ball to Wells inside again for a score, his 14th point of the half to get Northview within 41-40 with 4:02 left in the game. In Owen Valley's possession, Maners was fouled and got to the line, hitting his first shot, but missing the second. The Knights couldn't corral the rebound and Owen Valley got a key extra possession when they got the loose ball.
"It seemed like we were outrebounded in crucial situations," observed Lancaster. "We got a lot out of Nick (Wells), but we need other kids to step up."
That Owen Valley rebound yielded another pair of free throws and at the other end, Timm missed a leaner in the lane. The Patriots pulled down the board and from there hit another pair of free throws. Wells would miss at the other end and despite a Matt Stuckey jumper late, the Knights ran out of time in their comeback.
"(Owen Valley) is a little more athletic, a little quicker team than we are, but I'm proud of our effort, we just didn't get enough stops tonight," said Lancaster.
Wells had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Knights and Timm added another 15 points and five rebounds for Northview.
Northview (3-5 overall) will play for third place this evening at 6:15 p.m. against Terre Haute South followed by the championship game between the Patriots from Terre Haute North and Owen Valley.
Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic
At Terre Haute North
Owen Valley 47, Northview 42
Owen Valley (47)
Temples 0-5 1-3 1, Maners 3-16 5-6 12, H.Marshall 9-12 8-8 26, Nanny 1-3 0-0 2, Madison 0-0 0-0 0, Mortimer 2-4 0-0 6, Madorin 0-1 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-41 14-17 47.
Meunier 1-6 0-0 3, Timm 6-12 2-2 15, Miller 0-2 1-3 1, Wells 6-14 6-9 18, Brock 0-0 0-0 0, Stuckey 2-4 0-0 5, Medearis 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 15-40 9-14 42.
3-point fieldgoals -- OV 3-17 (Maners 1-7, Mortimer 2-4, Temples 0-4, H.Marshall 0-1, Nanny 0-1), NV 3-6 (Meunier 1-3, Stuckey 1-2, Timm 1-1). Total Rebounds -- OV 32 (Maners 8), NV 27 (Wells 11, Timm 5). Total Fouls -- OV 16, NV 12. Turnovers -- OV 6, NV 7.