Times Sports Editor
The Northview girls' basketball team is coming off a difficult 4-17 mark during the 2009-10 season and have gotten off to a sluggish start to the new year as well. However, first-year head coach Scott Buell is laying the foundation for the future while keeping an eye on the present with a very youthful squad.
The Knights boast just two seniors on the roster this year and a bevy of sophomores, which make up the bulk of the varsity squad.
Lauren Webster and Chelsey Sampson anchor the starting line-up and are the most experienced returning starters for Northview.
Webster leads the team at the point guard position and is the team's returning scoring leader after contributing 7.4 ppg. and 1.2 assists per contest. The 5'5 guard is the team's most accurate 3-point shooter and is able to stretch defenses as well as drive to the hoop. She'll be counted on plenty to score the basketball this year, especially during the early stages of the season until some of the less experienced players get their feet wet on the varsity level. Webster has started the year well with a 12.25 ppg. average over the first four games, which includes a 16-point game against Terre Haute North and an 18-point outburst versus West Vigo.
The Knights have also gotten some key contributions from Sampson, who has averaged 7.5 ppg. and close to eight rebounds per game. At 6'1, Sampson is a force on the defensive end with her arm length she affects shots around the hoop. She could be a big weapon for the Knights once they figure out a consistent way to get the ball to her in the post. Sampson has boosted her production this year after averaging 4.9 ppg. and 4.6 rebounds.
Taylor Carter, one of six sophomores on the roster, got regular minutes last year and at 5'9, gives the Knights an athletic forward, who can get to the basket and doesn't mind battling for rebounds in traffic. Carter averaged six points per game over the first three games of this season before being held scoreless against a tough Mooresville squad, which is ranked 20th in Class 4A. Northview hasn't had the easiest of slates as they will see 19th-ranked Terre Haute South tonight on the road and then host No. 12 Bloomington North on Nov. 30.
Sierra Girton, a 5'8 sophomore, got some minutes last year with the varsity and has joined the starting lineup as well. She debuted with a solid 10 rebounds over her first two games combined and then posted a seven-point night against Riverton Parke. If she can polish her game in the paint, the Knights could certainly benefit quickly. Cassie Weddle is another sophomore and at 5'2 has some quickness at the position. She gives Northview another ball handler along with classmate, Ashley Hughes, who checks in at 5'4. Hughes posted six points against Mooresville on Thursday evening and could give Northview another scoring option once she feels more comfortable with her role.
Brooke Berry (5'0) and Leanna Knight (5'6) are both making some appearances early on as freshmen and have the talent to make a difference already.
While the Knights have opened the season at 0-4 thus far, patience could prove to be a rewarding virtue as Northview continues to improve throughout the season.