Times Sports Editor
A win might be a win, but the Northview girls nearly found out the perils of relaxing against an opponent desperate for a victory on Friday night.
The Knights pressed visiting Sullivan into nine turnovers in the first quarter and built a 26-6 first half lead.
But the Arrows used Northview foul trouble and a wealth of opportunities at the free throw line to get as close as five points in the fourth quarter before Northview ended the game on a 13-2 run for a 54-37 conference victory.
The victory is the Knights third straight victory and sends them into Monday's make-up battle with Clay City on a high note according to coach LuAnne Anderson.
"A win is a win," Anderson said. "We've got a big game on Monday and only one day to get ready for it. We need to prepare for a hostile atmosphere."
Even in the friendly confines of the Northview gymnasium, the Knights struggled once they had built a 20-4 lead after one quarter.
"We kind of quit playing," admitted Anderson. "We absolutely got over confident, then surprise, (Sullivan) is back in the game."
Northview built its big lead on the strength of its full-court defense that helped feed a eight-point first quarter effort for Spring Raines. Kirstin Kimball did six points worth of damage in the paint and Emily Phillips added four points as well.
But foul trouble began to unravel the Knights' plan of attack.
Raines and Phillips each sat down for extended periods of time with two fouls and the offense became stagnant.
Sullivan meanwhile began to chip away by getting to the line 12 times in the second quarter and got four points apiece from Andrea Jones and Annie Clark.
After scoring just four points in the first quarter, Sullivan came back to outscore the Knights 15-13 in the second quarter.
The change in momentum was a sign of things to come.
Kimball and Phillips scored to open the second half as Northview's lead grew to 37-19, but Sullivan scored the next nine points.
Sierra Walters, a 5'9 freshmen, led the way for the Golden Arrows with 12 points in the game. Her jumper and Lara Benninfield's three-point play capped the run as Sullivan crept within 37-28.
Meanwhile, the Knights were turning the ball over eight times in the third period and Sullivan got within 39-28 to start the fourth period.
Walters opened the final quarter with a three-point play and Sullivan got to the line to hit three-of-four free throws to get within 39-34 with 5:07 remaining in the game.
Spring Raines scored off a drive to stop the 15-2 run and Phillips scored off an offensive rebound and got to the line for a chance at a three-point play.
The junior stepped to the line, missed the shot, but Raines got to the rebound and scored for a 46-35 Knights' lead that stole the breath from Sullivan.
Stormi Raines followed with score and after a missed free throw, Phillips beat the defense down the floor for a lay-in and a 15-point advantage.
The Knights got a balanced scoring effort with Spring Raines leading the way with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Both Phillips and Kimball added 10 points and Kimball had nine boards. Bell added six points with Stormi Raines adding five points. Kelsey Searing came off the bench for eight rebounds.
The Knights are now 9-7 overall and travel to Clay City to face the Eels on Monday at 6 p.m.
Jones 1-5 3-4 5, Clark 1-7 2-2 4, Mann 0-4 2-2 2, Benningfield 1-5 7-8 9, Bond 0-2 1-2 1, Bur 0-1 1-2 1, Lamb 1-4 1-2 3, Lowery 0-0 0-0 0, Gadberry 0-2 0-0 0, Walters 3-11 6-7 12. Totals: 7-46 21-32 37.
Bell 2-4 2-4 6, Phillips 3-10 4-4 10, Kimball 4-9 2-2 10, Sp.Raines 6-16 4-4 19, St.Raines 2-8 0-1 5, Colson 0-1 0-0 0, Sampson 1-1 0-0 2, Searing 0-4 2-2 2, Webster 0-2 0-0 0, Sharton 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Lee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-54 12-15 54.
3-point fieldgoals -- Sl 0-12 (Jones 0-2, Clark 0-3, Gadberry 0-2, Walters 0-2, Mann 0-1, Burr 0-1), Nv 4-14 (Sp.Raines 3-9, St.Raines 1-4, Phillips 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Sl 35 (Benninfield 12), Nv 49 (Sp.Raines 16, Kimball 9, Searing 8). Total Fouls -- Sl 19, Nv 22. Turnovers -- Sl 18, Nv 21.