Times Sports Editor
The Northview Knights capped the pre-conference portion of their schedule on Tuesday night against the Class 4A No. 13 ranked Bloomington North Cougars.
Northview got a small break in the first quarter when the Cougars' Shaw-Nee Winngingham went to the bench with two fouls only two minutes into the game.
The Knights struggled with ball control, turning the ball over eight times in both of the opening two quarters. However, Northview got two early hoops from Sierra Girton to keep the Knights within 15-9 after the opening eight minutes.
With Winningham on the bench for much of the first half, the Cougars went to the bench and found success behind the 3-point line as well.
Grace Luce and Erin Kinzer combined to hit five, 3-pointers in the first half. Luce hit three-of-six 3-pointers to give the Cougars some breathing room in the second quarter.
"That's a very good basketball team," Northview coach Scott Buell said of the Cougars. "Very athletic and we had not seen the No. 1 (Grace Luce), shoot the basketball like that when we saw her on tape. She's got a very nice stroke and she lit it up.
"We played with them the first quarter, we missed a couple of shots and we'd have been right there," Buell added.
The second quarter saw the Cougars open up a comfortable gap with a 17-point burst while the Knights hit just one-of-seven shots and fell behind 32-12 at halftime.
After the break, Winningham returned and got the Cougars started with a rebound and a put back basket. Taylor Carter followed by hitting a jumper for the Knights, but Kinzer came back to knock down a shot and add a 3-pointer.
The lead grew to 47-20 after three quarters, but the Knights weren't going to go away quietly despite the large deficit.
Lauren Webster opened the fourth quarter with a score and the Knights drew up a plan to get the ball inside to Chelsey Sampson.
Sampson scored off an offensive rebound and followed with another score to get the Knights within 47-26. On the following possession, Webster found Sampson inside for a three-point play to get Northview within 47-29.
Sampson had a team-high 12 points for the Knights and she added eight rebounds.
"We had a poor second quarter, but I was really pleased with the second half because we didn't quit. I think at one point we were down by 30 and we fought back and cut it down to 18," Buell said. "So in that regard I'm pretty proud of them. Obviously we still have some things to work on, we're still having problems scoring on the offensive end, but once again we're getting better. I'm ready to say we got a 'W'."
Northview's 10-1 run forced Bloomington North head coach, Alana Harrington, to bring back her starters for the next few minutes. Shai Warfield hit a 3-pointer for the Cougars before both teams cleared their benches.
Natasha Barrett capped the scoring for the Knights with two free throws.
The Knights slipped to 0-6 overall and begin conference play on Saturday at Brown County with the varsity game beginning at 6 p.m.
Webster 4-13 0-0 8, Hughes 0-2 1-2 1, Carter 2-6 0-0 4, Girton 2-2 1-4 5, Sampson 5-11 2-4 12, Knight 0-0 0-0 0, Berry 0-3 0-0 0, Potter 0-0 0-0 0, Deckard 0-1 0-0 0, Weddle 0-0 0-0 0, Barrett 0-0 2-2 2. Totals: 13-38 6-12 32.
Bloomington North (54)
Kinzer 4-14 0-0 13, Warfield 4-7 4-6 13, Lukemeyer 0-2 0-0 0, Demoss 2-6 1-3 5, Winningham 2-6 2-2 6, Luce 7-13 0-0 17, Shaw 0-2 0-1 0, Cassidy 0-2 0-0 0, Nelson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 19-55 7-12 54.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 0-2 (Webster 0-1, Hughes 0-1), BN 7-15 (Luce 3-6, Kinzer 3-7, Warfield 1-1, Shaw 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 34 (Sampson 8, Carter 7), BN 30 (Warfield 6, Lukemeyer 5). Total Fouls -- Nv 14, BN 14. Turnovers -- Nv 31, BN 17.