Times Sports Editor
MOORESVILLE -- When Northview hit the road Saturday night for its second game in as many nights, it didn't take long for the first ominous note to sound in Mooresville's gymnasium.
The Pioneers were getting to the hoop in transition fairly easily off turnovers and built an early lead and then the Knights' Caleb Mershon was upended on the defensive end and landed hard on his side. Mershon laid on the court for several minutes while a trainer attended to him before finally walking gingerly to the bench.
Suddenly an already thin Knights' squad got even thinner.
Though Mershon would return for the second half, the Pioneers grabbed a 29-15 lead before the break and held off a late charge to post a 57-41 win.
"We're playing a little shorthanded and then we have another guy go out (Mershon), so then we have a guy going into the game maybe not prepared to go against what we had to go against tonight," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said. "So we were just constantly out of position defensively and (Mooresville) took advantage of that."
Coming into Saturday's contest, both teams were mired in a losing streak and had just one win on the season, but it was the Pioneers that came out with some extra bounce in their step.
The Pioneers forced six turnovers in the first quarter, several of which resulted in easy lay-ins as sophomore Brandon Smalling scored six of his eight points in the period and forward Seth Myrick added two of his own fieldgoals. Mooresville was able to build a 17-12 lead at the first stop despite a pair of 3-pointers from Dillon Reynolds and three fieldgoals by Chance Talbot, who replaced Mershon in the line-up.
With both of Northview's leading scorers in check, the Pioneers built on their lead in the second quarter as Devin Harris scored nine of his 22 points in the period. The Knights scored just three points in the quarter, and took only five shots while being outscored 12-3 and falling behind 29-15.
"What got us behind was turnovers and missed assignments defensively," Maesch said. "Each person has got to say, 'it's not me, it's not going to be my fault defensively each time down the floor.' If they do that, then all of a sudden we have five guys playing together."
In the second half, Northview found its 3-point stroke, which kept the Knights within striking distance. Mershon returned for sink a 3-pointer and Reynolds hit two of his five 3-pointers on the way to a 17-point game. Lancaster also added his only two fieldgoals of the game as the Knights stayed within 45-30 after three quarters.
While the Knights got their offense untracked, the defense still wasn't able to put a halt to the Pioneer's attack. Myrick sank a pair of long-range shots on the way to 21 points and hit eight-of-10 from the field in the game.
Mershon hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter and after a Pioneers' turnover, Reynolds added another as Northview crept within 48-39. Myrick answered right back with a score in transition for the Pioneers and after Bradshaw hit his lone shot of the game off an offensive rebound, Mooresville scored the final seven points of the game.
With the Knights lack of depth, Maesch knew his team would have a hard time after falling into an early deficit.
"They played with a little bit more energy than we did early. In the second half we were able to attack what they were doing a lot better, but we had to gamble defensively and we couldn't get stops that way," Maesch said. "We were scoring, but then we couldn't get stops. We're not built to be able to get down 10, 12 (points) on the road, we just can't do that."
In the JV game, Mooresville rolled to a 61-29 victory as Dalton Rohr had eight points, Bryant Pestoff had seven and Dallas King posted six.
The Knights won't have long to ponder the loss, which drops them to 1-9 overall. Northview travels to Bloomington North tonight to take on the 7-3 Cougars.
Hyatt 0-5 0-0 0, Reynolds 6-13 0-0 17, Lancaster 2-5 1-2 5, Mershon 3-9 0-0 9, Bradshaw 1-4 0-0 2, Talbot 4-6 0-0 8, Allen 0-1 0-0 0, Van Horn 0-0 0-0 0, Hull 0-0 0-0 0, Rodgers 0-1 0-0 0, Rohr 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-44 1-4 41.
Myrick 8-10 2-4 21, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Harris 9-16 4-4 22, Smalling 4-6 0-0 10, Viles 1-4 0-0 2, McKinley 1-2 0-0 2, Mowery 0-0 0-0 0, Bisesi 0-0 0-0 0, Brock 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 23-40 6-9 57.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 8-24 (Hyatt 0-3, Reynolds 5-11, Mershon 3-8, Lancaster 0-1, Allen 0-1), Mv 5-13 (Myrick 3-3, Harris 2-7, Viles 0-3). Total Rebounds -- Nv 17 (Talbot 3, Bradshaw 3), Mv 26 (Myrick 10). Total Fouls -- Nv 7, Mv 5. Turnovers -- Nv 14, Mv 9.