Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- The Northview Knights carried over its momentum from a first-round Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic Tourney win on Saturday night when they took the court against Shakamak on Monday night. Unfortunately for Northview however, the Lakers were the team that finished the game with all the momentum, claiming a 64-60 win and a berth in the winners bracket semifinals against Terre Haute North this evening.
The Knights rode a hot shooting first half and an early third quarter surge to build a 15-point lead at 43-28 midway through the quarter, but the Lakers made a pivotal adjustment on defense that sparked Steve Brett's ball club.
"Well (Shakamak) just went to an extended 2-3 (zone) and started pressuring us a little more," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said. "I'm proud of the kids, I thought they played well, we got a little bit rattled when Shakamak started getting into us a little bit in that 2-3. We became unsure of what we were going to do and lost a little bit of confidence and you could see it and Shakamak could feel it. We made four or five poor turnovers against their pressure and it went from a 14-15 point game to a six-seven point, manageable game."
Jordan Langford, a 6'8 senior, scored to start the rally with a jumper and Billy Newton followed with a shot and was fouled. The 6'4 senior missed the charity shot, but Langford rebounded the miss and scored to get the lead under double-digits. Newton added another bucket to narrow the gap to 43-36.
The Knights missed a lay-up attempt at the other end and Langford scored his third bucket of the quarter. Tyler Richardson knocked down a big jumper before Talbot was able to halt a 12-0 Lakers' run with a fieldgoal to end the period.
While the Knights were able to knock down its outside shots in the first half, sinking six-of-11 shots from beyond the arc, Northview hit only two-of-nine after halftime. Shakamak's size in the paint with Langford and the 6'8 Jarred Van Horn teaming with Newton and 6'7 sophomore, Justin Crody coming off the bench, limited the Knights penetration and work in the post.
Maesch agreed that the Lakers size advantage began to wear on the Knights during Shakamak's rally.
"I think their length took a toll as the game went on and they got a lot of easy put backs as the game went on," Maesch commented.
Richardson started the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and back-to-back buckets by Crody sandwiched around a Northview turnover, knotted the score at 47-apiece with 6:45 remaining in the game.
While Newton's 18 points over the first three quarters put the Lakers in position to win, Richardson was deadly in the fourth quarter.
The Knights, who had turned the ball over just four times in the first half, committed 10 in the second half, including six in the final eight minutes to open the door for the Lakers' charge down the stretch.
Richardson followed a turnover up with a huge 3-pointer with 4:25 left to give Shakamak its first lead of the game at 50-47.
"I don't know what Billy (Newton) had, but I knew he was going to get 25 (points) or whatever he got (19 points). He can do that," Maesch said. "Tyler Richardson really stepped up tonight and beat us in my opinion. He made big shot after big shot."
Lancaster answered back by going the length of the floor for a lay-in, but Van Horn followed with a hoop for the Lakers. Jonathan Bradshaw hit one-of-two free throws for the Knights to get Northview within 54-51, but Richardson scored off an offensive rebound for a 56-51 advantage. Mershon sank his second 3-pointer of the game for the Knights, but the Lakers hit eight-of-10 free throws over the final 1:10 of the contest to maintain its lead.
Richardson had 12 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter to pace the Lakers while the Knights got 20 points from Lancaster. Talbot had 12 points on six-of-seven shooting from the field for Northview and Reynolds added 10 first half points. Bradshaw scored 12 points for the Knights, who dropped to 1-6 overall.
"I take a lot away from this game. I think Chance Talbot stepped up and played well. Basically we're playing with another new group again and we've got guys playing out of position," Maesch said. "We're back learning again because we lost Jacob (Musgrave). I thought we gave a good effort against a big, tall team. We just have to be ready for Marshall (tonight)."
The Knights take on Marshall in the consolation bracket at 5:30 p.m. at Terre Haute North.
Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic
Hyatt 0-0 0-0 0, Reynolds 4-7 0-0 10, Lancaster 8-20 0-0 20, Mershon 2-6 0-0 6, Bradshaw 4-10 4-6 12, Talbot 6-7 0-0 12, Van Horn 0-0 0-0 0, Rohr 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-46 4-6 60.
Richardson 8-18 4-4 23, Smith 1-4 3-4 6, Van Horn 2-5 0-0 4, Newton 8-15 1-5 19, Langford 3-6 0-0 6, Crody 3-7 0-0 6. Totals: 25-55 8-13 64.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 8-20 (Reynolds 2-4, Merhson 2-6, Lancaster 4-10), SH 6-13 (Richardson 3-6, Smith 1-2, Newton 2-5). Total Rebounds -- Nv 28 (Bradshaw 6, Talbot 5), SH 28 (Newton 6, Richardson 6). Total Fouls -- Nv 14, SH 11. Turnovers -- Nv 14, SH 10.