Times Sports Editor
Northview led only once against the visiting Cascade Cadets, but made it count as Spring Raines' three-point play with just seconds remaining gave the Knights a 56-55 win.
"We've been worried about close games," coach LuAnne Anderson said. "This is our first close game win. We battled and kept our composure."
The Knights indeed battled throughout the game, mainly because they were misfiring so badly from the field during the first half of the game.
While Northview recently installed new scoreboards in the gymnasium, it seemed as if they had a lid added to their rim as the Knights missed 15-of-19 shots in the first quarter.
Morgan, a 5'11 junior, displayed a nice touch on her jumper while pouring in 10 points in the first period.
The Knights didn't have much more luck in the second quarter, shooting four-of-17 from the field, but managed to match the Cadets' 13 points to trail 28-22 at halftime.
With several Knights in foul trouble during the game, the bench played a key role for Northview as Erica Lee and Shelby Colson gave Northview quality minutes after starter, Kirstin Kimball, picked up her third foul. Meanwhile, Kelsey Searing gave the Knights a spark in the back court to give Carlee Bell and Emily Phillips a break after they each got two fouls.
Spring and Stormi Raines paced the offense, especially in the first half, combining for 18 of the Knights 22 points.
In the second half, the Knights continued to whittle away at their deficit as Phillips and Searing scored to offset a pair of free throws from Cascade's Brittany Sallee and a jumper from Lindsey Stewart.
Northview closed the gap to two points with a score from Spring Raines and a rebound basket from Colson to get within 32-30.
Each time the Knights would make a run however, the Cadets had an answer.
This time it was a score from Morgan, who had 19 points, and one from Alyssa Suter, before a 3-pointer from Sallee to push the lead back to 42-38 to end the quarter.
The Cadets grew the lead to 48-42 on a hoop by Stephenson, but Northview answered back on a hoop from Chelsey Sampson. Spring Raines followed that up with a steal and a driving lay-in to get the Knights within 48-46.
Spring Raines was able to give Northview its' first tie since 0-0 when she hit a pair of free throws with 2:32 remaining. Cascade's Sallee came back at the other end with two of her own free throws.
The Cadets' free throw shooting was pivotal in them keeping the lead as they paraded to the line 35 times, hitting 24 in the game. Sallee was the biggest benefactor of the free throw stripe, hitting seven-of-eight free throws in the fourth quarter and 16-of-22 in the game.
The Knights fouled her several straight times in the final minute in an attempt to close the gap, but she hit seven straight before a miss to increase the gap to 55-50 with 30 seconds left.
Spring Raines kept hope alive for Northview fans when she hit an off-balance 3-pointer with 22 seconds left and the Knights fouled Stewart with 18.5 seconds left, trailing 55-53.
Stewart missed both shots from the stripe and Spring Raines grabbed the rebound and headed at warp speed to the other end with several Cadets in her wake.
Raines drew contact on her lay-in, scored the basket and hit the free throw to give the Knights their first lead of the game, 56-55, with eight seconds remaining.
Stewart got a shot off with a couple of seconds left, but Stormi Raines pulled down the rebound.
"Our game plan was to keep the game close and make little runs," Anderson said. "We kept our composure on offense and got good looks.
"This is definitely a confidence boost," Anderson continued. "It might not have been pretty, but a win is a win. We're going to try and build on this with four games at home."
Raines was one off her career-high with 33 points on 10-of-20 shooting and also grabbed 13 rebounds. With Tuesday's effort, Raines is now 14 points away from breaking Julie Whitted's career scoring record of 1,350 points.
Sampson came off the bench to grab five rebounds in the fourth quarter and Colson added six of her own boards.
"I want to commend our bench," Anderson said. "If we don't get that kind of effort from them we don't win this game."
The JV Knights got eight points apiece from Chelsey Sampson and Jessica LaTourette to score a 34-28 victory.
Jonnica Johnson had seven and Lauren Webster tallied four in the victory.
The Knights improved to 6-6 overall and host Martinsville on Thursday evening.
Sallee 3-5 16-22 23, Arnold 0-4 0-1 0, Stewart 2-6 0-2 5, Suter 1-4 2-2 4, Morgan 7-14 5-6 19, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Stephenson 1-3 1-2 4. Totals: 14-36 24-35 55.
Bell 0-3 0-0 0, Phillips 2-9 0-0 4, Kimball 1-5 0-0 2, Sp.Raines 10-20 8-11 33, St.Raines 2-14 0-0 7, Searing 2-5 0-0 4, Lee 0-2 2-2 2, Colson 1-5 0-0 2, Sampson 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 21-68 10-13 56.
3-point fieldgoals -- Cas. 2-5 (Sallee 1-2, Stewart 1-3), Nv 3-23 (Sp.Raines 2-8, St.Raines 1-9, Searing 0-4, Bell 0-1, Phillips 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Cas. 31 (Morgan 9), Nv 40 (Sp.Raines 13, Colson 6, Sampson 5). Total Fouls -- Cas. 18, Nv 23. Fouled out -- Cas. (Suter). Turnovers -- Cas. 18, Nv 16.