Times Sports Editor
The Northview girls' basketball team was finally able to close a team out on Saturday, surviving a late run by South Vermillion to win a 50-43 Western Indiana Conference contest.
"The last few games we haven't been able to do that," said coach Chad Smith of his team finishing out the win. "But tonight we did it at the end."
The Knights led by as many as eight points in the third quarter and looked like they might be ready to pull away when Stormi Raines hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 28-20. However, the Wildcats used a 15-6 run into the fourth quarter to earn themselves a 35-34 lead.
The lead changed three different times early in the quarter as Raines hit another 3-pointer, part of a 12-point night. Megan Samuelson hit a long range shot of her own to give the lead back to the Wildcats at 38-37, but Shelby Colson hit two free throws to give the Knights the lead for good after a last tie at 39-39.
Stormi Raines, held scoreless until her 3-pointer in the third quarter, scored nine of her 12 points in the final quarter and her fast break lay-in off a feed from sister Spring Raines, gave Northview a 43-39 lead.
Kelsi Cheesewright followed with a score for the Wildcats, but the Knights held on at free throw line, hitting nine-of-13 from the line in the final quarter.
Senior Abby Birkey got the start at point guard for the Knights, running the team admirably for much of the game, helping Northview keep their turnovers down.
"Abby deserved a shot," said Smith of his senior.
Birkey had four points at the offensive end, but added a little bit of extra creativity at the point and some more size at the defensive end.
Shelby Colson and Chelsey Sampson played strong for the Knights down low.
Colson had all five of her points in the second half and added 10 rebounds while the 6'2 Sampson scored seven points in the second quarter and blocked three shots in the game.
Northview got out to an early lead in the game, holding South Vermillion to just two points in the first quarter and led 9-2, but the Wildcats came battling back to outscore the Knights 16-12 in the second period.
Opening the second half, Birkey and Tara Crooks scored to give the Knights a 25-18 lead before a bucket from Cheesewright narrowed the lead. But Stormi Raines followed with her first points of the game, a 3-pointer to give the Knights some extra breathing room.
Spring Raines led the team with 16 points in the game while adding seven rebounds.
Smith is hoping that the victory can spark his team to finish the regular season strong.
"We have four more (games) to finish a five-game swing," said Smith. "This is an emotional win. We'd like to win out."
The Knights will host Clay City tonight beginning with a 6 p.m. JV game.
McLeish 3-12 1-4 8, Cheesewright 4-10 4-8 12, Myers 3-4 0-0 6, Samuelson 2-7 1-2 7, Phillips 1-9 2-4 4, Fuqua 0-1 0-0, Milan 2-4 0-0 4, A.Reed 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 16-49 8-18 43.
Birkey 2-5 0-0 4, Sp.Raines 5-16 5-6 16, St.Raines 4-11 2-5 12, Crooks 1-2 2-2 4, Colson 1-6 3-4 5, Webster 0-2 0-0 0, Sampson 3-3 1-2 7, Searing 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 17-47 12-17 50.
3-point fieldgoals -- SV 3-9 (Samuelson 2-3, McLeish 1-3, Fuqua 0-1, Milam 0-1, Myers 0-1), Nv 3-15 (Sp.Raines 1-7, St.Raines 2-5, Birkey 0-2, Webster 0-1). Total Rebounds -- SV 32 (Phillips 7), Nv 36 (Colson 10, Sp.Raines 7). Total Fouls -- SV 17, Nv 16. Turnovers -- SV 9, Nv 14.