Times Sports Editor
The Northview Knights can only look forward to a future that doesn't include any more games against Brown County senior guard, Bailey Howard.
The six-foot guard went off for 24 points last season in a conference battle that the Knights were able to put in the win column. On Saturday night, Howard rang up 33 points against the Knights and had some help from his teammates in a 71-56 WIC victory by the Eagles.
Howard came out firing despite a defense geared towards taking him away. The Knights went to a box-and-one defense in an attempt to limit his touches, but the Eagles got the ball to 6'5 center, James Allen, for six points in the first quarter and a pair of hoops from Garrett Davis.
"My plan was to box-and-one (Bailey Howard)," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said. "We started out doing that and we gave up three easy baskets to other people and missed rotations. I panicked and came out of it and maybe we should have stayed in it. I don't know if it would have made a difference. Defensively and offensively I told the kids that we had somebody breaking down every single time and it was a different person every single time."
Once the Knights loosened the grip on Howard, he knocked home four consecutive 3-pointers as Brown County built a 25-13 lead after one period.
One of the Knights biggest problems was keeping Allen off the boards, the senior had six of his game-high 16 rebounds in the first quarter and kept a number of possessions alive with offensive rebounds for the Eagles.
Trent Lancaster had a pair of fieldgoals on drives into traffic and both Jonathan Bradshaw and Jacob Musgrave had four points each in the rally from a double-digit deficit. The momentum completely shifted when Damon Hyatt was fouled on a 3-point attempt that went in. The sophomore completed the rare, four-point play and the Knights were within 33-30 at the break after holding the Eagles to just four-of-14 shooting from the field. Meanwhile, the Knights hit seven-of-11 shots from the field to get back into the contest.
Brown County came out of halftime on a mission, getting a 3-pointer from Jordan Rose and a bucket by Allen for a 38-30 advantage. The Knights crept back within 42-37 on a hoop by Musgrave and a 3-pointer from Caleb Mershon.
From there however, the Eagles made their move as Caleb Wedan scored to spark a 10-2 run to close the quarter.
"We were so worried with No. 14 (Howard) that sometimes we'd just stare him down and not make rotations," Maesch said. "Right now we don't have a defensive stopper really and we're trying to, but nothing is coming easy for this team."
Rose added another 3-pointer and Allen completed a three-point play before Howard added a bucket to push the gap to 52-39.
In the fourth period, Northview wasn't able to dent the Eagles lead any farther then 52-42 after Lancaster opened with a 3-pointer. Howard was clutch from the free throw line and hit nine-of-10 from the line in the fourth quarter to ice the game.
Allen finished with 17 points and 16 boards to complement Howard's big night. Lancaster led the Knights with 18 points with Musgrave adding 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Knights (0-2 overall, 0-1 WIC) faces West Vigo on the road on Friday evening in a boy/girl doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m.
Brown County (71)
Howard 9-14 11-12 33, Graber 1-4 0-0 3, Davis 3-6 0-0 6, Allen 7-13 3-4 17, Wedan 3-7 0-2 6, Rose 2-3 0-0 6, Ferry 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-48 14-18 71.
Hyatt 2-4 1-1 6, Lancaster 6-14 4-6 18, Mershon 3-8 0-0 8, Musgrave 4-7 4-6 12, Bradshaw 2-8 1-2 5, Reynolds 2-5 2-2 7, Rohr 0-0 0-0 0, Talbot 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Rodgers 0-0 0-0 0, Hull 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-46 12-17 56.
3-point fieldgoal -- BC 7-13 (Howard 4-6, Rose 2-3, Graber 1-2, Ferry 0-1, Davis 0-1), Nv 6-17 (Hyatt 1-2, Reynolds 1-2, Lancaster 2-5, Mershon 2-7, Bradshaw 0-1). Total Rebounds -- BC 30 (Allen 16), Nv 23 (Musgrave 11). Total Fouls -- BC 16, Nv 16. Turnovers -- BC 7, Nv 8.