By STEVE FIELDS
For the Brazil Times
BLOOMINGTON -- The Northview Knights scored 83 points in their opening game of the season, an overtime win at Martinsville. The Knights netted 82 against Riverton Parke in the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic. The Knights even scored 62 against Owen Valley.
But since that Jan. 4 game with OV, the Knights have struggled on the offensive end of the court. Friday night Northview failed to net 50 points for the third straight game, falling to host Bloomington North 44-39.
Northview takes an 8-5 overall record and three-game losing streak into tonight's homecoming and Western Indiana Conference contest with the South Vermillion Wildcats. The girls' contest starts at 6 p.m.
"The ball bounced our way a few times early in the year. Right now the ball is not quite bouncing our way," Northview coach Mitch Lancaster said.
"I thought we did a lot of good things offensively. We struggled because of their quickness. [Bloomington North's] quickness and strength was really good."
Northview shot a respectable 48 percent from the floor but attempted just 33 shots, hitting 16 field goals. Austin Akers, with 10 points, was Northview's only double-figure scorer.
"They were a little bit quicker in transition and they got back [on defense]. We didn't get a lot of transition points,"? Lancaster said.
Still, Northview controlled the tempo of the game and had a chance to win in the final two minutes because of an outstanding defensive effort.
The Knights played a box-and-one defense on Bloomington North's outstanding sophomore Ray McCallum Jr., son of Indiana University assistant coach and former Indiana All-Star Ray McCallum. The young McCallum started the night averaging over 20 points per game, but was held to 10 points and eight shots by Nick Lancaster.
"We did a great job on [McCallum]. We did a great job on him. We did everything we wanted to defensively. We lost a little pride defensively in the Mooresville game. I thought we got it back,"? Lancaster said.
Northview, trailing 13-7 after one quarter, led 19-18 at halftime. The lead changed hands four times in the third quarter, Caleb Whitman putting Northview on top 28-26 with 1:08 left in the period before Darwin Davis gave Bloomington North a 29-28 lead going into the final eight minutes.
The Cougars took a 32-28 lead 16 seconds into the fourth quarter on a three by McCallum. Northview's Akers netted the next five points to give the Knights a 33-32 edge with 6:33 to play.
Nick Lancaster put Northview on top for the last time with 5:08 to play. Bloomington North's Julian Boatner netted a go-ahead deuce with 4:45 to play.
Bloomington North spread the court, turning the clock into a weapon.
Northview was forced to foul and Bloomington North hit 8-of-10 free throws over the final 4:21.
"I was really proud of the way our kids played. I thought they battled. I thought we controlled much of the game. It was a situation where they scored on about three straight possessions in the fourth [quarter], and had that one-point lead with about three minutes to go,"?Lancaster said.
Whitman 3-5 0-0 6, Lancaster 3-4 0-0 8, Coltharp 3-5 0-0 6, Timm 2-3 0-0 4, Akers 3-11 3-3 10, Reynolds 2-5 0-0 5, Kirby 0-0 0-0 0, White 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-33 FG, 3-3 FT, 39 TP.
Bloomington North (44)
Dorsey 0-4 3-4 3, Ludwig 3-5 0-0 6, Schmitz 1-2 2-2 4, Davis 3-5 3-4 11, McCallum 4-8 0-0 10, Boatner 2-3 4-5 8, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Hurt 0-2 0-0 0, Gray 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 14-30 FG, 12-15 FT, 44 TP.
3Pt. Goals: Nv 4-14 (Lancaster 2-3, Reynolds 1-4, Akers 1 7), BN 4-11 (Davis 2-3, McCallum 2-3, Hurt 0-2, Dorsey 0-3). Total fouls: Nv 15, BN 10. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: Nv 9, BN 8. Rebounds: Nv 16 (Coltharp 5), BN 16 (Schmitz, Gray 3). JV game: Bloomington North 49, Northview 40.
Next game -- Tonight, Northview (8-5, 3-1 in WIC) will host South Vermillion.