Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- The Northview Knights are making a very strong case to be the new "Cardiac Kids."
The moniker was originally given to the 1967 Boston Red Sox because of how many close games that they played on the way to the pennant and a loss in Game 7 of the World Series to the Cardinals. However, the Knights are already putting together a claim for the nickname due to their own penchant for the dramatic.
On Saturday afternoon, Northview locked up with Sullivan in round two of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic and went two overtimes before claiming their fourth win by four points or less this year.
Dogged much of the second half and the overtimes by a Triangle-and-2 defense implemented by the Golden Arrows, the Knights were forced to look for other options than leading scorer Austin Akers.
Clint Reynolds, who missed his first five 3-pointers of the game, came up with some of, if not THE biggest shots of the overtimes with a 3-pointer to open the first extra session as well as a tying bomb in the second. Add in three late free throws to put the Knights ahead to stay and its easy to overlook the fact that the senior hit just one of his first 10 shots from the field. The key thing is that his coach, Ernie Maesch, and teammates had the faith in his shot to keep getting him the ball.
Reynolds responded by scoring 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtimes to propel his team into a semifinal berth against Terre Haute North this evening at 7:30 p.m.
"He's a good shooter," Maesch said of Reynolds. "What I say is he may miss eight in a row, he's going to make the next five. If Clint gets his confidence back he can fill it up."
In regulation, Akers overcame the harassing defensive strategy by the Arrows to come up with a pair of late 3-pointers to get the Knights back from a 40-35 deficit with 3:26 to play.
Reynolds started the run with a bomb of his own before Akers followed at the two minute mark with one of his own to give the Knights a 41-40 lead. Sullivan answered when sophomore David Bedwell hit a turnaround jumper.
Akers came right back off a dribble-drive and step back 3-pointer, but Arrows' senior Dalton Hiatt responded on the next possession with his own 3-pointer to put Sullivan back on top.
The Knights were twice bailed out when Sullivan's Thad Thompson, who had a massive 15-point, 23-rebound performance before fouling out in the second OT, missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw chance. The Knights returned the favor by throwing away the inbounds pass, but stole Sullivan's opportunity and Akers drew a foul with 15 seconds remaining.
Akers hit one of his shots to knot the game and freshman Rhett Smith missed a short jumper at the other end for the Arrows. The rebound came out to Trent Lancaster, who looked to have a chance at a fast break at halfcourt, but he was grabbed around the waist for a foul that couldn't have looked any more flagrant. However, the officials simply ruled a regular foul with two seconds on the clock, which didn't result in any free throws.
"I think two or three thousand people could see he grabbed him to stop him from a lay-up," Maesch said of the play. "Therefore, you've got to have the guts to call that intentional foul and that's what I thought should have been called."
A long 3-pointer at the buzzer came up empty as the game progressed to overtime.
In the first overtime, Reynolds' 3-pointer got the Knights rolling, but the Arrows got a score from Smith and one from Dreyson Boyd to take the lead following a pair of missed free throws by the Knights.
Trailing by a point, Northview looked to Akers, who drove to the basket and was fouled in traffic with three seconds remaining. He calmly made the first to tie the score, but missed the second, but Sullivan couldn't heave in a winner at the horn.
Sullivan took the advantage in the second session with a pair of baskets by Smith, who had 14 points. With a 53-50 deficit, Reynolds came up big again, nailing his fourth trey of the game to tie the contest.
Reynolds hit the go-ahead basket from the free throw line after being fouled on a rebound with 1:11 left. The two free throws proved to be enough as Hiatt missed a final 3-pointer and Caleb Mershon added the clinching free throw as part of a key 10-point night.
Wabash Valley Pizza Hut Classic
At T.H. South
Akers 5-15 7-10 20, Lancaster 2-5 1-2 5, Reynolds 4-15 3-4 15, Bradshaw 2-2 0-1 4, Musgrave 1-2 1-5 3, Keller 0-0 0-0 0, Mershon 3-13 1-2 10. Totals: 17-52 14-24 57.
Boyd 3-10 0-0 7, Bedwell 1-3 0-1 2, Smith 7-18 0-1 14, Hiatt 2-9 0-0 6, Thompson 5-13 5-7 15, C.Turner 1-3 2-2 4, J.Turner 1-1 0-0 2, Nash 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 21-58 7-11 53.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 10-34 (Akers 3-8, Mershon 3-12, Reynolds 4-13), Sl 4-21 (Nash 1-1, C.Turner 0-2, Hiatt 2-7, Boyd 1-7, Smith 0-3, Bedwell 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 35 (Musgrave 11, Bradshaw 5), Sl 41 (Thompson 23). Total Fouls -- Nv 12, Sl 17. Fouled out -- Sl (Thompson). Turnovers -- Nv 12, Sl 8.