Times Sports Editor
The Northview girls' basketball team led the first and last quarters in the season basketball opener, but lost the turnover battle and eventually the game during the middle two periods of a 50-36 loss to Terre Haute North.
In the opening round of the Hi-99/Terre Haute Savings Bank Classic, the Knights were able to overcome some understandable first game jitters in the opening quarter as the team hit six-of-11 shots from the field to counter seven turnovers. However, the Patriots countered in the second period to hold the Knights to one field goal and exerted its size advantage to rally. Northview held a 14-11 lead after the opening eight minutes as Ali Sharton hit a 3-pointer and Lauren Webster scored seven of her nine points, but 6'0 freshman, Nicole Anderson had 10 of her 14 points in the second quarter.
The Patriots forced another eight turnovers in the second period and North outscored the Knights 19-5 to lead 30-19 at halftime.
Understandably, Northview coach Lu Anne Anderson put much of the blame on her team's turnover issues.
"Turnovers absolutely killed us. I had us for 26 and that really got us right there," Anderson said. "We expected some turnovers with the first game and an inexperienced team, but we didn't expect 26. First quarter I was really happy with the way we came out and our intensity level was great and we put points on the board and being great on defense was what we were really keying on this season."
Anderson also pointed to the reasons her team struggled to maintain the first quarter pace during the second eight-minute stanza.
(The) second quarter was a completely different story," Anderson said. "Our offense kind of went away and we needed to pick up the intensity on the defensive end. We're just not trying to get the girls to focus that the defense is the key to the game and how many points we put on the board because if the other team still has one more point we still lose the game."
Kesley Searing hit a free throw, Emily Phillips hit another after grabbing an offensive rebound and a steal by Webster led to a missed lay-up, but Chelsey Sampson got a score off another Patriots' turnover.
Anderson liked what she saw as her team's aggressive defense forced six turnovers in the third quarter and sparked the offense.
"We'd really like to be a pressing team. We didn't throw it out there in the first half because we were unsure of how our girls were going to play tonight and whether we were going to pick up a lot of fouls and how our conditioning is yet," Anderson said. "Definitely the press keyed our comeback and this team is very capable of putting on a nice press and getting some nice baskets off of it. So I was very pleased with how they executed that at times. I think in the future we'll probably use that a lot more, but no use to burn them out early in the season."
While Etling was on the bench, the Knights outscored North 12-3 and closed within 41-31 on a score by Phillips in the fourth period with 5:40 remaining.
Northview kept up the pressure and a steal and a lay-in by Phillips set up Searing for a drive that sent Etling to the bench with her fifth foul. Northview got within 41-34 on Searing's free throw, but wasn't able to close the gap down the stretch.
The Patriots hit nine-of-12 free throws over the final three minutes to keep the Knights at bay.
The Knights were led by Webster's nine points and a six-point, 10-rebound game by Phillips. Both Carlee Bell and Sampson had six points with Ali Sharton adding three, Searing had four and Alyssa Conrad added a fieldgoal.
Anderson led the Patriots with 14 points and Morgan Seeley added 11 points.
Northview faces South Vermillion, a 62-44 loser to Terre Haute South, on Friday night at 6 p.m. The Patriots and Braves square off in the winners' bracket at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
At West Vigo
Hi-99/Terre Haute Savings Bank Classic
Bell 2-4 2-2 6, Phillips 2-10 2-5 6, Sharton 1-2 0-0 3, Webster 4-10 0-0 9, Searing 1-3 2-4 4, Conrad 1-4 0-0 2, Sampson 3-3 0-0 6, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, LaTourette 0-1 0-0 0, McKee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-37 6-11 36.
T.H. North (50)
Etling 0-2 2-4 2, Jones 2-11 4-4 9, Barnhill 2-4 2-2 8, McCarthy 2-12 1-2 5, Anderson 5-10 3-6 14, Finley 0-3 1-2 1, Seeley 3-8 4-7 11, Fox 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 14-53 17-26 50.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 2-3 (Bell 0-1, Sharton 1-1, Webster 1-1), THN 5-13 (Jones 1-6, Barnhill 2-2, Seeley 1-1, McCarthy 0-3, Anderson 1-2). Total Rebounds -- Nv 27 (Phillips 10, Searing 3), THN 32 (Etling 11). Total Fouls -- Nv 21, THN 12. Fouled out -- Nv (Bell, Phillips), THN (Etling). Turnovers -- Nv 28, THN 18.