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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Akers named to Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic All-Tourney Team

Thursday, January 3, 2008

(Photo)
Northview's Austin Akers (No. 21) was named to the All-Tourney Team at the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic.
The Northview Knights may have taken a bit of a non-traditional path through the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic following the Christmas holiday, but one thing remained the same.

The Knights placed a member of their team on the All-Tourney squad.

A seventh-place finish wasn't what Northview had in mind coming into the tournament, but following a tough opening loss to Marshall, Ill., the Knights bounced back with three straight victories by an average of 17.7 points per win.

Junior point guard Austin Akers was a big reason for that three-game winning streak to finish the tournament.

"Austin does a lot for us- besides ballhandling most of the time, he has been our leading scorer and someone we can count on to create his own shot," said coach Mitch Lancaster of his floor leader.

Akers averaged 14.3 ppg. over the grueling four-day tournament. He also knocked home six 3-pointers for the Knights.

"When Austin has played well we have played well and his

leadership is vital to our team," assessed Lancaster.

That Akers' play is crucial to his team's success was never more apparent in the three wins that the Knights had over Riverton Parke, Bethesda Christian and a perenially tough Bloomfield team.

In the tourney's finale, Akers went for 19 points against the Cardinals and perhaps most importantly, hitting six-of-eight free throws down the stretch. He teamed with senior Jered Timm for all of the Knights' points in the final quarter. Timm hit all nine of his attempts from the charity stripe in the game.

Lancaster felt that Akers play was a key component in each of his team's victories.

"He was able to take over offensively in the crucial part of all three games," said Lancaster.

Joining Akers on the all-tourney team was a pair of players from champion Terre Haute South.

Brothers Jake Odum and Zach Odum each received honors with a combined 116 points. Jake Odum averaged 15.5 ppg. with 15.5 ppg. coming from Zach Odum.

Second-place Marshall placed both Eitel brothers on the squad with Lucas Eitel averaging 16.4 ppg. and Logan Eitel averaging 15.3 ppg.

The most impressive tournament effort may have come from Rockville's 6'7 R.J. Mahurin who broke the tournament scoring record against Monrovia in the opener with 40 points. Mahurin then rang up 38 against Owen Valley on the way to a 29.5 ppg. average, which also set a tournament record.

Aaron Bridge, a Rockville teammate of Mahurin, averaged 13.8 ppg. over the course of the tourney with a high game of 23 points versus West Vigo on Thursday.

Terre Haute North sophomore Thomas Anderson scored 59 points over the four games for an average of 14.8 ppg. and hit the game-winning shot versus West Vigo on Friday night.

The Vikings' Drew Aff also received all-tourney honors after posting a three-game average of 11.3 ppg. and Owen Valley's Mitch Stahl rang up 19.8 ppg., including 24 against Bethesda Christian.

Stahl and Akers will meet up on Friday night as Owen Valley visits Northview in a boy/girl doubleheader.

Despite the dispiriting loss against Marshall in the opener, Lancaster pointed out that his team played well in the following games.

"I think all of us feel confident because, excluding the Marshall game, we have competed at a very high level," commented Lancaster. "The Bloomfield game especially gives us some confidence and showed we could play a tough grind it out game against a quality opponent."

Though Akers was the Knights' lone representative on the all-tourney team, the entire team made important contributions over the four games in four days grind.

All 11 players saw significant court time in an 82-45 win over Riverton Parke.

Clint Reynolds came off the bench for 10 points and Zach Kirby added in six for the Knights. Senior Keaton Robertson added a boost of energy during the fourth quarter along with Jonathan Bradshaw. Drew Duncan came in and ran the point down the stretch as well. Trent Lancaster added in seven points.

All 11 players also saw time in the Bethesda Christian game as Tyler Coltharp, last season's all-tourney representative for the Knights, had 17 points and seven rebounds. Akers remarkably led the team in rebounding that game with a game-high nine. Caleb Whitman added five points in the game and gave Northview a valuable option with his 6'4 frame. He hit for nine points against Bloomfield and six ppg. over the tourney.

Nick Lancaster added seven points in the Marshall game to keep his team close over the early stages of the only loss.

Lancaster mentioned that getting his bench extended playing time in the Bethesda Christian and Riverton Parke game will help his team down the road.

I think having two games in the middle where we could play a lot of kids for expanded minutes helped and also playing a slow grind it out game in our last game probably helped out too," said Lancaster of a 50-40 win over the Cardinals.

The Knights (7-2) will jump back into their second half schedule with a Friday game against conference foe Owen Valley following the girls' 6 p.m. game.



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