Times Staff Reporter
Riding a wave of homecoming energy, the Northview boys' basketball team put forth a dominating performance Thursday night, burying South Putnam 75-46.
After a fairly even first period, the Knights (7-11) railroaded South Putnam, scoring the first 18 points of the second quarter, taking a commanding 41-17 lead into the locker room. The rally was sparked by the outside shooting of Clint Reynolds and Caleb Mershon, who hit a combined nine three pointers.
Head coach Ernie Maesch said the Eagles provided his squad with an opportunity to hit outside shots and his team responded.
"We've got shooters," Maech said. "(South Putnam) put four guys in the lane to stop our penetration and we took advantage. Our shooters proved what they can do."
Austin Akers, who overcame a missed dunk in the first quarter, led the Knights with 18 points, while Reynolds and Mershon added 15 and 12 respectively. Akers and Trent Lancaster led Northview on the boards, pulling down five a piece.
The lone highlight for the Eagles (5-13) was Noah Boswell, whose 20 points accounted for nearly half of the South Putnam offense. Speaking on behalf of varsity coach Micha Elliot, who wouldn't comment on account of that he "felt under the weather," junior varsity coach Chris Jones said his team wasn't ready for Northview's up-tempo style of play.
"They were hitting their shots and got physical and we couldn't respond," Jones said. "We got lackadaisical."
Despite the decisive win, Maesch expressed disappointment in his team's low-post play, in allowing Boswell to have such a prolific scoring output."
"I haven't done good enough in making us tough," Maech said. "We've got to do a better job underneath."
Despite the lopsided score, Jones said it did the Eagles good to play in a loud Northview gym, which celebrated the homecoming ceremonies which were postponed from Jan. 30 due to inclement weather, saying it was a good warm up for sectional play. He also stressed the need for patience as the program eases into the system of first-year coach Elliot.
"Learning a new system takes time," Jones said of the Eagles, who dropped their third consecutive game. " We just need to keep doing what we're doing and things will get better with time."
Following their emphatic victory, Maesch expressed optimism the Knights would be able to take the momentum gained from Thursday's game and ride it throughout the remainder of the season.
"Momentum is exactly what we're looking for," Maesch said. "We got a little tonight and we are going to try and use it to our advantage."
Both teams will return to action next Tuesday, as the Knights will travel to Greencastle, while the Eagles host South Vermillion.
The Knights also won a tightly contested JV game, fending off a late South Putnam rally to hold on for a 50-47 win. Hunter Robertson led all scorers putting up 14 for Northview. South Putnam's Corey Stanton scored 13 in a loosing effort.
South Putnam (46) -- Chestnut 1 3-4 6, Cash 2 0-0 4, Frame 0 2-2 2, Dean 3 2-2 8, Boswell 7 6-12 20, Masters 1 0-0 2, Varvel 1 0-0 2, Vickery 1 0-0 2
Northview (75) -- Hyatt 2-3 0 2, Rector 0 2-2 2, Akers 7 3-5 18, Lancaster 3 2-2 9, Mershon 4 0-0 12, Reynolds 5 0-0 15, Wilson 1 0-0 2, Bradshaw 2 3-3 7, Musgrave 1 1-2 3, Keller 2 0-0 4, VanHorn 0 1-2 1
3-point field goals- SP 1 (Chestnut) NV 11 (Reynolds 5, Mershon 4, Akers 1, Lancaster 1). Total Rebounds- SP 22, NV 24. Total Team Fouls- SP 16, NV 18.
Junior Varsity -- Northview won, 50-47.
Next game: South Putnam hosts South Vermillion on Tuesday, while Northview will pay visit to Greencastle, which is also on Tuesday night.