Times Sports Editor
WEST TERRE HAUTE -- The Northview girls' basketball team got its first dose of real game experience in Thursday night's Tip-Off Tournament at West Vigo High School and while they came out on the short end of a 39-35 decision to Terre Haute North, there were plenty of positives.
"I was extremely happy with our effort," Northview coach Scott Buell said. "I thought we played really hard. I thought for the most part our defense was sound the entire game. We had a couple of lulls on offense in the second quarter and there at the end in the fourth quarter. Overall I was very pleased with how we played, we just had a lot of little errors that added up in that loss."
With three sophomores and two seniors in the starting line-up, the Knights didn't bring a lot of experience to the opener, but Northview showed off some growth from last year's 4-16 mark.
In the opening period, senior Chelsey Sampson worked herself free in the paint to score eight of her 10 points to give the Knights an 11-7 lead after the first eight minutes against the Patriots. However, in the second quarter, a theme began to develop as Northview got to the free throw line 10 times, but hit just three of those shots.
While the Knights stayed within 18-16 at halftime, those missed shots from the charity stripe were a glaring problem that would catch up eventually.
"I'm not sure what the stat was, but we missed a bunch," Buell said in regards to his team's free throw woes. "In practice we've been knocking them down and obviously that's one thing that we work on every night, we just didn't knock them down tonight. Hopefully next time we come out, we'll be ready to make them."
North extended its lead to 20-16 on a pair of free throws from Olivia Finley, one of eight seniors on the Patriots' roster. The Knights' Lauren Webster got hot, hitting a jumper and then followed a Patriots' turnover with two free throws to knot the game at 20-all. Sampson then scored in transition off a nice feed from Webster to give Northview a 22-20 lead.
Webster answered a tying jumper from Jade Rakes with a runner in the lane and another jumper, part of a 16-point night for the senior. The Knights led 26-24 heading into the fourth quarter as Webster scored eight points and hit all three of her shots from the field in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Northview's Taylor Carter and Webster helped extend the lead to 30-26, but Sampson missed two free throws and the Patriots responded with a 6-0 run on free throws from Mary Kate Etling and a bucket inside from the 6'0 senior Patriot. With North leading 32-30, Carter tied the score with a jumper for the Knights, but the Patriots answered with a 7-0 run down the stretch to put the game away.
Seeley hit a pair of free throws and then scored on a fast break to push North's lead to 36-32. A turnover by Northview resulted in a free throw from Morgan Stewart with 1:05 left and Etling and Stewart each added single free throws to grow the lead to 39-32.
Webster capped the scoring with a 3-pointer for the Knights, who got 10 rebounds from Sampson and eight from Carter. Sierra Girton added six boards for the Knights.
"When she's active, she can really help us on both ends of the floor," Buell said about Sampson. "She can block some shots, she's going to have to rebound for us because she's really our only height. We're going to have to get the ball to her in the post more and get some post moves out of her, but that's as much the guards' fault as hers. We've got a lot of things to work on, but I saw a lot of positives."
The Knights (0-1 overall) play in the consolation bracket this evening at 7:30 p.m.
2010 Tip-off Tournament
At West Vigo
Webster 5-15 5-8 16, Hughes 0-6 1-2 1, Carter 3-11 0-0 6, Girton 0-2 0-0 0, Sampson 5-7 0-6 10, Potter 0-1 0-0 0, Knight 1-1 0-0 2, Weddle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-43 6-16 35.
T.H. North (39)
Seeley 2-4 2-6 7, Etling 2-7 3-4 7, Schenck 0-1 0-0 0, Finley 3-6 5-6 11, Stewart 2-9 2-4 6, Hasbrouck 0-3 0-0 0, Rakes 2-6 0-0 4, Fox 2-2 0-0 4, Bledsoe 0-5 0-0 0. Totals: 13-43 12-20 39.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 1-4 (Webster 1-2, Hughes 0-2), THN 1-7 (Seeley 1-1, Stewart 0-3, Bledsoe 0-3). Total Rebounds -- Nv 39 (Sampson 10, Carter 8, Girton 6), THN 29 (Finley 9, Etling 7). Total Fouls -- Nv 15, THN 13. Fouled out -- Nv (Girton). Turnovers -- Nv 18, THN 14.