Times Sports Editor
Part of welcoming in a new coach and an abundance of players new to the varsity game is learning about each other and how to play together.
School was in session at Northview High School on Friday night as the Knights blew a big lead, trailed late and still bounced back to take a 60-57 Western Indiana Conference victory over Edgewood.
The Knights looked as if they might blow the Mustangs right out of the gym in a red hot first quarter.
Northview hit five-of-six 3-pointers and 10-of-13 shots overall to claim a 25-10 lead after one period, but the Mustangs had plenty in the tank for the Knights.
Key to the Knights run was a 10-point opening quarter for senior Austin Akers, but the guard was forced to the bench for a time after picking up his second foul.
"(Edgewood) came out in a zone and we just lit it up," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said of the scorching start by his team. "You start hitting a few shots and you start thinking your pretty good. Akers picks up his second foul and I think I let it get down to seven or six points before I had to bring him back."
Indeed, Edgewood began to shift the momentum as 6'5 sophomore Levi Garner began hitting the boards and the Mustangs warmed up from the perimeter themselves.
Alex Narey knocked home a pair from long range and Ryan Baugh added four points with J.T. Finch chaulking up another seven in the period as Edgewood nearly erased the entire lead.
Northview led just 35-32 at the break despite a 16-point half from Akers.
"That was the most physical game I've been a part of since I've started coaching," Maesch commented following the game.
Garner's presence was huge for the Mustangs, who outrebounded the Knights. The sophomore had 11 boards and 15 points in the game.
Northview held onto the lead for nearly the entire third quarter with its own post play.
A three-point play from Jacob Musgrave gave the Knights a 44-40 lead and Brad Wilson added a score off a drive and dish from Akers.
From there though Edgewood took firm hold of the game.
Garner scored on a pair of free throws after being fouled following an offensive board. He added a three-point play with 1:27 remaining in the period as Northview struggled with the Mustang pressure.
Narey completed the comeback at the buzzer with his third 3-pointer on the way to a 15-point evening. The shot gave Edgewood a 48-46 advantage to start the fourth quarter.
The sophomore wasn't done though.
He opened the fourth quarter with his fourth 3-pointer of the game before Akers could answer.
The Mustangs came through with big shot after big shot and built a 57-52 lead after Baugh scored in transition after a steal.
Akers, who had 25 points in the game, followed with a score in the paint, but his biggest shot was to follow.
With just over a minute left, Akers pulled up and hit a 25-foot bomb from the top of the arc to tie the game.
Garner missed at the other end for the Mustangs and Lancaster was fouled. The Knights' sophomore hit one of the two shots for the lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Finch missed on an off balance leaner in the paint and Lancaster grabbed his fifth rebound, hit two more free throws and the Mustangs' Narey missed a pair of final 3-pointers.
"We played a good game," Maesch said. "Some kids really grew up tonight."
The Knights hit eight 3-pointers in the game, seven in the first half.
Jonathan Bradshaw had eight points in the game with Clint Reynolds adding seven.
The Knights (2-2 overall, 1-2 WIC) take on Avon tonight beginning at 6 p.m.
Finch 4-7 0-1 10, Narey 5-8 1-2 15, Baugh 6-17 1-2 13, Walton 1-6 0-1 2, Garner 5-14 5-7 15, Meek 0-1 0-0 0, Newman 0-0 0-0 0, Raventos 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 22-57 7-13 57.
Akers 9-14 2-3 25, Lancaster 2-5 3-4 8, Reynolds 3-8 0-0 7, Bradshaw 4-6 0-0 8, Musgrave 2-2 1-1 5, Sims 0-0 0-0 0, Mershon 1-3 0-0 3, Wilson 2-3 0-1 4. Totals: 23-41 6-9 60.
3-point fieldgoals -- EW 6-18 (Finch 2-4, Narey 4-6, Baugh 0-5, Raventos 0-2, Walton 0-1), Nv 8-15 (Akers 5-7, Mershon 1-3, Lancaster 1-2, Reynolds 1-3). Total Rebounds -- EW 30 (Garner 11), Nv 26 (Musgrave 6, Akers 5). Total Fouls -- EW 14, Nv 13. Fouled out -- Nv (Mershon). Turnovers -- EW 7, Nv 11.