Times Sports Editor
Apparently a return to conference play is just what the doctor ordered for the Northview boys' basketball team.
The Knights halted a six-game losing streak with a victory at South Vermillion on Jan. 23 and then used a 13-5 run in the third quarter to open some breathing room in a 67-62 WIC victory over Sullivan on Friday night.
There were plenty of contributors in the victory as Northview placed four players in double-figure scoring and a fifth had nine points in the victory..
Much like their female counterparts did earlier in the evening, the Knights nearly blew a double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter, but were able to hold on down the stretch.
In a see-saw opening 20 minutes, Sullivan crept within 36-35 after David Bedwell scored on a drive. However, Northview answered back with a 3-pointer from Trent Lancaster and Jonathan Bradshaw scored off a no-look pass from Austin Akers. Jacob Musgrave added a bucket off an offensive rebound and Clint Reynolds knocked home a pair of 3-pointers to end the quarter.
When the dust settled, the Knights had turned a one-point lead into a 49-38 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"We got a couple of rebounds and Austin did what he can do, finding open people," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said. "Sullivan is a team that is hard to match-up with when they are hitting from the outside."
And perimeter shooting is exactly what helped keep Sullivan close.
Austin Nash drilled a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and a Northview turnover led to a pair of free throws from freshman Rhett Smith.
Smith, a talented 6'6 forward, had been held scoreless until he hit a free throw with 2:13 left in the third quarter, but his shots seemed to spark the Arrows.
Smith followed with a rebound bucket and Nash added one of his five, 3-pointers in the game to get Sullivan to 51-48 with 5:20 remaining.
The game remained a one possession contest over the next two minutes before Bradshaw scored a three-point play to push the lead to 56-51.
Thad Thompson, who burned the Knights for 23 rebounds and 15 points in the Wabash Valley Classic contest, hit two free throws, but the Knights gathered themselves for a final push.
With 2:00 left in the game, Sullivan began to foul the Knights and hope for missed free throws and a chance to take the lead.
Trent Lancaster hit a pair of free throws with 1:33 left and Nash airballed a 3-pointer at the other end. Akers was fouled and hit two more from the line and the Knights led 60-53 with 1:14 left.
The Knights would finish the game at the line, knocking home 14-of-20 shots from the charity stripe.
The game nearly turned into a 3-point shooting contest as each team nearly hit 50 percent from beyond the arc.
The Knights got three, 3-pointers each from Clint Reynolds and Caleb Mershon and had nine for the game while Sullivan hit nine-of-19 for the game.
"Caleb stepped up for us in the second half and then Clint came through and did a good job getting into a rhythm and hitting some shots in the second half," Maesch said.
The Knights improve to 6-10 overall and host Terre Haute South in a make-up game on Wednesday evening.
Smith 2-7 4-6 8, Bedwell 1-4 0-2 2, Hiatt 5-13 0-0 12, J.Turner 2-3 0-0 4, Thompson 4-7 3-4 11, Boyd 2-5 3-4 9, Nash 5-9 1-2 16, C.Turner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-48 11-16 62.
Akers 3-10 9-12 17, Lancaster 2-5 6-8 11, Reynolds 6-10 0-0 15, Bradshaw 4-6 3-6 11, Musgrave 1-3 0-1 2, Mershon 3-6 0-0 9, Keller 0-1 2-2 2, Wilson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-41 20-29 67.
3-point fieldgoals -- Sl 9-19 (Nash 5-7, Hiatt 2-6, Smith 0-2, Boyd 2-4), Nv 9-18 (Akers 2-4, Reynolds 3-5, Mershon 3-6, Lancaster 1-3). Total Rebounds -- Sl 27 (Thompson 12), Nv 24 (Musgrave 7). Total Fouls -- Sl 22, Nv 17. Turnovers -- Sl 13, Nv 10.