For the Brazil Times
After a heartbreaking homecoming loss, the Northview Knights might have been excused for being flat Saturday night. In fact, most expected them to be flat against the Owen Valley Patriots. But it didn't happen.
The Knights jumped out to a 9-2 lead on Owen Valley, survived a back-and-forth fourth quarter and hit free throws down the stretch to earn their second win of the season 53-48.
"We played well enough to win (Friday night), we just shot the ball so poorly and couldn't get some crucial rebounds. We're a lot better than our (2-11) record. The kids are getting better. We're being competitive with every team we're playing, we're just not getting over the hump, that's all," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said.
Northview got over the hump Saturday night with big plays and valuable minutes from all eight players Maesch put into the game.
Trent Lancaster and Jonathan Bradshaw combined for 32 points and 12 rebounds. Caleb Mershon and Dillon Reynolds hit big 3-pointers, plus came through with huge steals. Chance Talbot chipped in two buckets off the bench, while Jordan VanHorn and Jordan Allen played minutes that allowed the Knights to stay fresh down the stretch.
"Great kids. (They are) very coachable. (I) love them to death. They're a great group to be around. This is the type of team you want. We don't look at the record. We look at how they prepare, good attitudes, practice hard (and) that's what it's all about," Maesch said.
The Knights' first Western Indiana Conference win snapped a six-game losing streak.
Lancaster, who came off the bench for the first time this season, scored 17 points. Bradshaw scored 15 points, grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and made two steals in a defensive effort that was crucial to the victory.
With help from a 2-3 zone defense, Bradshaw held Owen Valley 's 6-foot-7 Cody Vest to seven points, far below his 18 points per game average.
"I thought Bradshaw did an excellent job on Vest. I told him if he held (Vest) under 15 that would be a great job. (Vest is) 6-7, athletic... the kids did a great job. (Bradshaw) had help (in the zone defense)," Maesch said.
Northview took a 34-26 halftime lead when Lancaster scored in the closing seconds and Mershon scored a lay-up at the buzzer by stealing OV's inbound pass.
Owen Valley overcame that lead in the third quarter when Vest, Sean Hollows and Woody Worland combined to hit four 3-point buckets. Worland, who led OV with 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting from 3-point range, tied the score 38-38 with 2:06 to play in the third quarter.
"When you play Owen Valley you've got to make the other guys beat you. They didn't beat us. They made shots, but Vest can beat you," Maesch said.
Northview didn't fall into the "here we go again" trap. Lancaster hit two free throws that put the Knights up 39-38 going into the fourth quarter.
Owen Valley took its first lead of the game, 41-39, on a Worland three with 6:55 to play. Northview's Talbot finished off a fast break with a basket to tie the score 41-41. With Maesch screaming franticly from the sideline "don't leave him (Worland)" the OV sharpshooter nailed another open three for a 44-41 lead.
Mershon answered with a trey for Northview, tying the score for the last time at 44-44.
Reynolds, who had four steals, caught the Patriots' defense sagging back on Bradshaw and stepped into a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put Northview ahead for good, 47-44, with 4:17 to play.
"We need (him) to take care of the ball a little bit better, but overall he's getting better for us. We just need him to keep making good decisions and help Trent ( Lancaster ) out up top," Maesch said.
With 2:30 left in the game, Maesch put the Knights into a spread offense. The Knights didn't get into the bonus until just 1:07 was left to play.
The Knights hit 6-of-8 free throws over the final 1:07, but when Lancaster missed his second shot, he came up with the loose ball.
Bradshaw and Damon Hyatt hit free throws that secured the victory.
After shooting 56 percent from the floor in the first half, the Knights finished with 48 percent (18-37) for the game.
The Knights go for their second WIC win on Friday night at Sullivan.
Owen Valley (48)
C. Vest 3-6 0-0 7, Christenberry 1-5 0-0 2, Hollows 4-9 0-1 11, Worland 7-14 0-0 20, Gilstrap 2-5 0-0 02, Hoadley 0-0 0-0 0, D. Vest 0-0 2-2 2, White 1-1 0-0 2, Ray 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-40 FG, 2-3 FT, 48 TP.
Mershon 3-9 1-2 9, Bradshaw 6-9 3-5 15, Pestoff 0-0 0-0 0, Reynolds 2-6 0-0 6, Hyatt 0-0 2-2 2, Lancaster 5-10 6-11 17, VanHorn 0-0 0-0 0, Talbot 2-3 0-0 4, Allen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-37 FG, 12-20 FT, 53 TP.
3 Pt. Goals: OV 10-24 (Worland 6-8, Hollows 3-8, C.Vest 1-3, Gilstrap 0-2, Chritenberry 0-3), N 5-11 (Reynolds 2-3, Mershon 2-6, Lancaster 1-2). Total fouls: OV 14, N 11. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: OV 9, N 9. Rebounds: OV 20 (C.Vest, Hollows 5), N 28 (Bradshaw 8, Reynolds 6). Steals: OV 4 (Gilstrap 2), N 7 (Reynolds 4).
Next game -- Northview (2-11, 1-4 in WIC) travels to Sullivan on Friday. Owen Valley (4-9, 1-4 in WIC) goes to Danville on Friday.