Times Sports Editor
GREENCASTLE -- The Northview Knights have had nearly two weeks to dwell on its last loss, it's 12th on the season against two victories. On Thursday night, the Knights were able to savor its third win of the year, overcoming a double-digit first quarter deficit to post a 49-46 win on the road at South Putnam.
The Knights looked like they were still on break early in the game, falling behind 15-2 to open the game as the Eagles got a pair of 3-pointers from Brayden Freeman and one from Nathan Welty.
However, even playing without leading scorer Trent Lancaster due to mono, the Knights showed their resilience in the face of adversity.
The Knights went on a 20-0 run between the first two quarters as Damon Hyatt knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and Caleb Mershon completed a rare four-point play after behind fouled on one of his two made 3-pointers in the quarter.
After the game, Northview coach Ernie Maesch pointed out how important their contributions were to the Knights' success.
"Damon Hyatt did a really good job for us under pressure and to give us a cushion," Maesch said. "I thought he played a good game. Caleb (Mershon) didn't get many touches, but when he did, he knocked some shots down for us."
After falling behind by 13 points, Hyatt's second 3-pointer gave the Knights a 16-15 lead with 3:27 left and Mershon's gem pushed the Knights' lead to 22-15 with 2:12 left in the half.
The Knights would take a 24-20 lead into the halftime after holding the Eagles to just two-of-10 fieldgoal shooting in the second period.
In the third quarter, Northview picked up right where they left off as Chance Talbot hit a free throw and Hyatt added his third bomb from beyond the arc. The lead grew to 32-22 as Dillon Reynolds scored in transition and then found Talbot for a score.
That lead proved to be fleeting as the Eagles began to get hot from long range once again however.
Welty hit another 3-pointer the Eagles, one of nine in the game for South Putnam, and after Jordan Van Horn scored for the Knights, Welty added another trey for good measure. Cameron Chestnut, who led the Eagles with 19 points, followed with another 3-pointer and the lead had shrunk to 34-31. Reynolds completed the scoring in the quarter with a nice reverse lay-in for the Knights.
The Eagles got a pair of scores to open the fourth quarter and narrowed the Knights' advantage to 36-35 with 6:55 left in the game, but Northview rallied back once more.
After missing significant time due to foul trouble in the first half, Jonathan Bradshaw made his presence felt in a big way for the Knights.
Bradshaw scored off an offensive rebound and then followed an Eagles' turnover with a leaning shot in the paint. Two more free throws by the senior pushed the gap to 42-35 and Chance Talbot completed a 9-0 run with his three-point play at the 3:12 mark.
With the chance to put the game away at the free throw line, the Knights suddenly fell cold at the charity stripe after hitting 10-of-11 to start the game.
Three straight times the Knights missed the front end of a one-and-one attempt and the Eagles got a score by Chestnut and a bit 3-pointer from Freeman to get within 45-40 with 59 seconds left.
Dillon Reynolds went to the line for a chance to extend the Knights' lead, but his miss with 37 seconds left preceded another 3-pointer by Chestnut with 22 seconds left. The bomb got the Eagles within 45-43.
From there however, the Knights were able to get the ball in Bradshaw's hands as he hit two free throws and then stole the ball from the Eagles and hit two more. Even Freeman's fourth 3-pointer of the game wasn't enough to faze the Knights as Mershon made a nice hustle play after a missed Northview foul shot to run out the clock while throwing the ball off an Eagle defender.
Maesch commented afterwards on Bradshaw's clutch shots from the line.
"(Jonathan Bradshaw) is our best free throw shooter," Maesch said. "Usually your center is not your best free throw shooter, but he is for us. I wanted the ball in his hands intentionally when we were getting the ball in full court so they'd foul him."
Bradshaw had 13 points and eight boards to lead a balanced offense for the Knights as Hyatt added 11, Mershon had nine, Talbot tallied eight and Reynolds had six in the win.
"Glad to get the win, but we've got to get smarter in the late stages of the game," Maesch said. "That's something I'm a little disappointed about, but we got the victory and when you've only got three you can't be too upset."
The Northview JV team got a 39-31 win led by 13 points by Braden Parr and 12 from Zach Hull.
The Knights (3-12) host Monrovia on Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. JV tip.
At South Putnam
Hyatt 3-6 2-2 11, Talbot 3-5 2-4 8, Reynolds 3-13 0-2 6, Mershon 2-4 3-3 9, Bradshaw 3-8 7-9 13, Allen 0-1 0-0 0, Van Horn 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 15-38 14-20 49.
South Putnam (46)
Welty 4-8 2-2 13, Chestnut 6-14 5-5 19, Varvel 0-1 0-0 0, Freeman 4-9 0-0 12, Masters 1-6 0-0 2, Stanton 0-1 0-0 0, Gibson 0-0 0-0 0, Geier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-39 7-7 46.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 5-16 (Hyatt 3-4, Reynolds 0-8, Allen 0-1, Mershon 2-3), SP 9-16 (Welty 3-5, Chestnut 2-5, Freeman 4-6). Total Rebounds -- Nv 22 (Bradshaw 8), SP 28 (Chestnut 8). Total Fouls -- Nv 10, SP 21. Turnovers -- Nv 8, SP 18.