Times Staff Reporter
Northview middle school basketball saw their momentum come to an end as both seventh- and-eighth-grade squads had two-game winning streaks halted by a very good Owen Valley squad Thursday night.
The seventh-grade fell behind early and wasn't able to recover. They were limited to three points in the second quarter by an aggressive Patriots defense, which paved the way for Owen Valley's 45-31 win.
The Knights rallied in the third quarter and were within 10 thanks to a 10-0 run. Owen Valley quickly and devastatingly ended the run however, by nailing two three pointers in the final eight seconds of the period. Coach Clay Huffman said the quick three's were back-breaking to his team.
"It pretty much killed our rally," Huffman said. "We had a lot of momentum going and that just stopped it."
Joe Ball led the Knights in scoring with 11, while Gaddis Baysinger, Keegan Roembke and Derek Mills all added four.
The loss sent the Knights to 2-2 on the year. Huffman said his team has a lot of work to do to get themselves to the level of Owen Valley, but said he thinks they can get there, and hoped for a chance at revenge if the squads were to face each other again in the Western Indiana Conference Tournament at the end of the year.
"There's a lot of stuff we have to work on," Huffman said. "But I think we're better than we showed tonight and hopefully we can see them again at the end of the year so we can get our payback."
Things changed quickly however, as Owen Valley scored the final eight points of the first period and the first eight of the second, quickly securing a 40-19 halftime lead.
The Knights remained strong despite the large deficit, and were highly competitive in the second half, even managing to outscore Owen Valley in the third and fourth quarter. Coach Shawn Hughes said he was thrilled with the effort his team put forth in defeat.
"I think we did a really good job staying competitive," Hughes said. "I was really proud of our guys. They never quit. A lot of them played the best ball they've played all season."
Ethan Whitson was a standout for North Clay, putting forth a very impressive 22-point effort. Nate Newton was the Knights' second leading scorer with seven.
The loss moved the eighth-grade team to 2-1. Like Huffman, Hughes also was looking for the chance to take on Owen Valley in postseason play, in hopes his team will have made the necessary strides to defeat them.
"I say if we work really hard from here on out, we can beat that team," Hughes said. "I'd love to play them again. It would give us a great chance to see how much we've improved.
The seventh- and-eighth-grade teams return to action with a home game against West Vigo. The seventh-grade tip-off is at 6 p.m.