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Knights' rally falls short in Pizza Hut Classic title game

Thursday, December 30, 2010

(Photo)
Northview's Bryant Pestoff goes up for a shot over the Patriots' Justin Gant in Thursday's Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic title game.
By CAREY FOX

Times Sports Editor

The Terre Haute North Patriots, ranked 10th in Class 4A, may have came away from the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic with a 52-38 victory over Northview on Thursday night, but it was the Knights that might have found out the most about its team.

Northview fell behind 13-0 just past the midway point of the first quarter while the Patriots dominated on both ends of the court. However, the Knights chipped away throughout the game, limiting 6'8 Indiana State-signee Justin Gant to just four points.

Dillon Reynolds was red hot during the middle two quarters, hitting big shot after big shot with a hand in his face for the Knights. He scored 12 of his 14 points in the middle two periods and his jumper in the third period cut the North lead to 32-29.

Meanwhile it was a collective effort by the Knights in limiting Gant, who missed all five of his shots in the second and third quarters.

"Dillon (Reynolds), offensively, gave us a big boost, he's shooting with a lot of confidence, which he's capable of doing," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said. "Trent (Lancaster) was able to get them in foul trouble a little bit and Hunter Robertson played excellent defense and got Trent a couple of easy buckets. We just need a little bit more firepower."

Bryant Pestoff was key in his defense of Gant in the middle as well.

"I'm very proud of them, they held their composure down 13-0 with one of the best teams in the state, I really believe that," Maesch said. "We were down three with the ball I believe and made a couple of errors in a row, but we defended (Terre Haute North), held (Justin) Gant to four points without (Jacob) Musgrave. Bryant Pestoff did an excellent job and we fought back. I'm trying to get some of these guys that don't play a lot of varsity time to realize that one or two critical errors at the end of the quarter got them up 11, 12 points. That should have never happened.

(Photo)
Dillon Reynolds (No. 20) had 14 points for the Knights.
"One play can really turn a game around. We cut it down there with our defense getting stops and spreading the floor on (North) and trying to get underneath them a little bit with pressure," Maesch added.

Trailing just 36-33 after Pestoff knocked down a pair of free throws, the Patriots got a 3-pointer from Ross Sponsler, who followed a Northview turnover with another bucket and Calvin Blank capped a 7-1 run to end the quarter for the Patriots.

After expending plenty of energy to get back within striking distance, the Knights seemed to run out of big plays at the end.

A pair of missed free throws to start the quarter for the Knights, led into a jumper by the Patriots' Chase Jones and a bucket by Gant. Trailing 43-37, Northview got a free throw by Lancaster, who had a game-high 17 points. Reynolds added his final two points at the line to get the Knights back to 47-37 as Gant fouled out. However, the Patriots have a wealth of weapons at their disposal as 6'7 Matt O'Leary followed with a drive, Blank hit a free throw and Logan Shipley added two free throws down the stretch to provide the final margin.

After hitting 56 percent from the field over the middle two periods, the Knights were held to zero fieldgoals in the final quarter.

The Knights got four rebounds apiece from Reynolds and Pestoff as Gant led the 10-1 Patriots with 13 boards. Shipley led the Patriots with 13 points.

Northview 4-6 overall, is back in action with a Western Indiana Conference game on Friday at Owen Valley in a boy/girl doubleheader at 6:30 p.m.

Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic

Championship Game

Northview (38)

Hyatt 0-1 0-0 0, Reynolds 5-10 2-2 14, Lancaster 4-10 8-14 17, Talbot 0-0 0-0 0, Pestoff 1-3 2-2 4, Rohr 0-0 0-0 0, Mershon 0-5 1-2 1, Robertson 1-2 0-0 2, Ninesling 0-0 0-0 0, King 0-0 0-0 0, Whitson 0-0 0-0 0, Hull 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-31 13-20 38.

T.H. North (52)

Jones 2-4 1-2 5, Shipley 3-6 5-6 13, O'Leary 4-7 2-2 11, Newton 2-4 0-0 5, Gant 2-8 0-0 4, Bolden 0-1 2-2 2, Blank 2-5 1-2 5, Sponsler 3-5 0-1 7, Grady 0-0 0-0 0, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Vickers 0-0 0-0 0, Jahn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-40 11-15 52.

Northview517114-38
T.H. North1612159-52

3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 3-7 (Reynolds 2-2, Lancaster 1-2, Mershon 0-3), THN 5-11 (Shipley 2-3, O'Leary 1-3, Newton 1-2, Sponsler 1-2, Gant 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 20 (Reynolds 4, Pestoff 4), THN 28 (Gant 13). Total Fouls -- Nv 16, THN 15. Fouled out -- THN (Gant). Turnovers -- Nv 10, THN 7.