Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- Physical defense and a strong inside game paced the Northview Knights to a victory in the annual Clay County battle against rival Clay City.
The Knights were able to hold the Eels to 30 percent shooting from the field (10-of-33) and used their quickness and passing to get the ball inside to the post.
Northview's front court of Caleb Whitman and Tyler Coltharp combined for 22 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the field.
Knights' coach Mitch Lancaster was quick to point out his team's defensive effort in the victory.
"We played real hard defensively," said Lancaster. "We couldn't get untracked at the offensive end, but we did get some good passing."
Point guard Austin Akers can be credited with a strong game despite scoring just six points in the contest. His looks on various drives into traffic drew the defense and got his teammates open for some easy baskets.
In the opening quarter, Northview was slow to get their offense going, but took advantage of its opportunities while limiting Clay City's open looks.
The Eels hit just three buckets in the opening eight minutes with Will Kennedy rebounding from a scoreless game against Turkey Run on Thursday for two early baskets.
Jordan Defore opened the game's scoring, but the Knights showed their hand early, going to the athletic, 6'4 Whitman inside.
Northview led 12-6 heading to the second quarter and its defense held the Eels at bay while they slowly extended the first half lead to 23-12.
Tipping off the second half, Kennedy got to the line for two free throws and Defore got the Eels within 23-17 early in the quarter.
But the brief run sparked Northview to go on a 9-0 run started by a slicing drive and three-point play by Jered Timm.
The Knights blocked a shot at the other end and Nick Lancaster cut to the hoop, gathered a great pass and scored for a 13-point advantage. Timm completed the run with a steal and a pass to Whitman for a lay-in and a 32-17 lead.
The lead grew to 42-21 in the quarter as Whitman scored off a baseline drive and Akers drilled a 3-pointer followed by a bucket from Coltharp. Whitman then rebounded a miss from Akers for a 21-point lead.
"(Whitman's) rebounding is a key for us," commented Lancaster. "He did a good job winning balls and keeping rebounds alive."
The lead grew to as many as 24 in the fourth quarter following a three-point play from Timm, who had 12 for the Knights.
Clay City got a jumper from Levi Seymour and a long-range bomb from Kennedy to get within 50-31, but the Eels couldn't get any closer.
Kennedy led the Eels with 13 points and Defore added 10.
After a loss to Vincennes the night before, Lancaster admitted it was good to come back a night later and get a win.
"It was just good to have a game after last night's tough loss," said Lancaster. "It was good to get a win and erase last night's game from the memory banks."
Clay City coach Grant McVay wasn't available for comment following the game.
The JV Knights also came away with a victory, jumping out to a 15-6 lead after the first quarter and cruising to a 62-40 win over the Eels despite 24 points from Eel freshman Tyler Bridgewater.
Jonathan Bradshaw led Northview with 20 points with Trent Lancaster adding 10, Derek Duncan added eight and Justin White chipped in with six.
Clay City also got seven from Kyle Grafe and six from Jenkins.
Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday for Senior Night as Northview (12-7) hosts Danville and Clay City (10-9) hosts Linton at 6 p.m.
At Clay City
N.Lancaster 3-6 1-1 8, Timm 5-8 2-2 1, Akers 2-7 1-3 6, Whitman 6-11 2-3 14, Coltharp 4-8 0-0 8, Kirby 0-0 0-0 0, Reynolds 1-2 0-0 3, Bradshaw 0-0 0-0 0, Duncan 0-0 0-0 0, Robertson 1-2 0-0 2, White 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 23-45 6-9 55.
Clay City (33)
Cook 0-2 2-2 2, Seymour 1-2 1-2 3, Kennedy 4-11 3-4 13, Rhodes 1-4 0-0 3, Defore 3-7 3-4 10, Griffith 0-4 0-0 0, Payne 0-1 0-0 0, Heffner 1-3 0-0 2, Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0, Bridgewater 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-33 9-12 33.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 3-11 (N.Lancaster 1-3, Akers 1-3, Whitman 0-3, Reynolds 1-1, Timm 0-1), CC 3-10 (Defore 1-2, Kennedy 2-3, Rhodes 1-1, Griffith 0-4). Total Rebounds -- Nv 30 (Akers 6, Whitman 6), CC 20 (Defore 5). Total Fouls -- Nv 12, CC 12. Turnovers -- Nv 11, CC 15.