Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- The Northview Knights have to be feeling a bit snake bitten in close games this season.
On Friday night, Terre Haute South used a fourth quarter flurry to start the period and was able to hold off the Knights, 48-42, in another narrow defeat for Northview. The loss was the Knights' fourth by eight points or fewer over the last month.
"We gave a good effort, we let an opportunity slip by," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said.
The game looked like it might turn out to be a shootout after the first quarter when the teams combined for 39 points and six 3-pointers.
However, it was Northview's defense that had coach Maesch smiling in the second quarter in which the Knights held the Braves scoreless after a 22-point first period.
"We defended them well, but a couple missed free throws, a couple of missed lay-ups, a couple missed rebounds was the difference. They put on a little flurry rebounding on us a couple of times there and we couldn't get the loose ball."
The Knights clamped down on the Braves in the second period after South hit nine-of-14 shots from the field to open the game. Anthony McGill hit his first three shots from the field, Jermaine Smith hit his only two field goals of the game and John Michael Jarvis added eight points on a variety of slashes to the hoop, including a lob for a dunk.
The Braves were zero-for-seven from the field and turned the ball over five times while Northview picked away at South's lead. Chance Talbot entered the game to replace Caleb Mershon, who sat with foul troubles. Talbot added a pair of field goals inside and Lancaster followed up a nine-point first quarter with two more field goals as the Knights went into halftime with a 26-22 lead.
South big man, Ike Worrell, a 6'6 forward, sat a portion of the second quarter with foul trouble and to have his ankle re-taped. His absence allowed the Knights to stay even with the Braves on the boards at eight-apiece in the quarter.
In the second half, South came out flying with McGill opening the scoring with a 3-pointer and Worrell made his presence felt with an offensive rebound and a bucket. Jermaine added a free throw and South had briefly regained the lead at 28-26. Damon Hyatt answered back for the Knights with a 3-pointer and a 29-28 lead, but the Braves were preparing its pivotal flurry.
Worrell got another offensive rebound and a bucket to give the Braves a 30-29 lead and another 3-pointer by McGill pushed the gap to four.
South makes a living with its active defense transitioning into easy baskets and Jarvis spearheads its pressure. He turned the Knights over and scored on a break and the next time down the court, another Knights turnover led to a lay-up by Jarvis and the lead had quickly grown to 37-29 after a 9-0 run by the Braves.
Afterwards, Maesch lamented about how close the Knights were to a victory and how pivotal that run by the Braves was in gaining the win.
"Our defense was there. It was just a couple turnovers, a couple of missed shots and some missed rebounds was the difference in the game," Maesch said. "(John Michael) Jarvis and (Ike) Worrell got a couple of put backs and it cost us, it got them a little cushion and if we get those rebounds, then we have a little bit of a cushion and now they have to gamble more and you get better looks."
With a team as good defensively as the Braves can be, Maesch said it is difficult to come back after allowing South to score off turnovers.
"It's so hard to score at the other end of the floor," Maesch said. "You know, you have to play just right and, we're dead tired with kids not coming out of the game and they are getting trapped and we're trapping some and face guarding people. In the end, we just have to make a couple more plays."
The Knights didn't quit after the run by the Braves as Caleb Mershon scored his first points off a 3-pointer and two free throws by Lancaster sent the teams into the fourth period with the Braves leading 39-34.
In the final stanza, rebounding was again key as Jarvis opened the quarter with two free throws and Worrell scored back-to-back buckets to push the lead to 45-34. Northview would get within 47-42 after Lancaster scored twice and an offensive rebound by Hyatt led to a score by Jonathan Bradshaw. Dillon Reynolds hit a jumper to narrow the gap to 47-42, but the Braves got a free throw from Bryn Schwartz with 1:14 remaining and the Knights couldn't get any closer.
Lancaster had 20 points in the loss to go with five rebounds and Bradshaw added five points and six rebounds.
"We had a couple of times in transition or against their zone and we needed to finish some plays and didn't, but we're getting better and it was an opportunity to beat a good team on their floor," Maesch added. "We just need to regroup and go to Mooresville and try to get a victory."
The Knights (1-8 overall) get that opportunity tonight as Northview visits the Pioneers with a 6 p.m. JV and freshman game followed by the varsity.
At T.H. South
Hyatt 2-5 0-0 5, Reynolds 2-8 0-0 5, Lancaster 7-17 3-7 20, Mershon 1-4 0-0 3, Bradshaw 2-4 1-2 5, Talbot 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 16-42 4-9 42.
T.H. South (48)
McGill 6-14 0-1 14, Jarvis 5-10 4-4 14, Smith 2-4 1-3 6, Tanoos 0-4 0-0 0, Worrell 5-9 0-0 11, Ulrich 1-6 0-0 2, Schwartz 0-1 1-2 1, Etling 0-1 0-0 0, Turner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-49 6-10 48.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 6-20 (Hyatt 1-3, Reynolds 1-5, Lancaster 3-9, Mershon 1-3), THS 4-21 (McGill 2-7, Smith 1-2, Worrell 1-3, Ulrich 0-5, Tanoos 0-3, Schwartz 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 22 (Bradshaw 6, Lancaster 5), THS 36 (Jarvis 11, Worrell 10). Total Fouls -- Nv 11, THS 13. Fouled out -- (None). Turnovers -- Nv 13, THS 11.
JV game -- Terre Haute South 59, Northview 30 (Pestoff 13, Rodgers 7).
Freshman -- Terre Haute South 53, Northview 32 (Peters 10, Parr 10).