Times Sports Editor
SPENCER -- The Northview and Owen Valley boys' basketball games have become one of the tightest battles of the season for both squads and Friday's conference tilt was no exception.
Northview senior Trent Lancaster drove the length of the court and made a pass to Chance Talbot for the game-winning bucket with just 0.8 seconds remaining in a 51-50 victory for the Knights. Talbot's go-ahead hoop came after the Patriots' Ethan Hoadley had completed a three-point play that gave Owen Valley the lead with only 6.3 seconds remaining on the clock.
The one-point decision was the sixth straight game decided by five or fewer points between the Western Indiana Conference rivals.
"We seem to find ourselves in these games, because of our own doing," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said. "We actually ran (the last play) the way we wanted to. (Owen Valley) had not been guarding our '5' man over the top all night. We wanted to get the ball in Trent's (Lancaster) hands as quickly as possible. He got a good release off his man and he started taking it as hard as he could down the court. Sure enough, Chance (Talbot) was running the other side of the court and Trent trusted his teammate. He made a great play because he trusted his teammate."
The Knights led for much of the contest as Lancaster, Talbot and Dillon Reynolds each had four points in the opening quarter. Caleb Mershon knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the second period and Lancaster added six more of his game-high 21 points as Northview led 24-21 at halftime.
In the second half, Owen Valley knotted the score at 29-apiece on a drive by Hoadley, but Mershon scored off a drive to put Northview back in front. A bucket by Hunter Robertson off a Lancaster assist extended the lead to 33-29, but the Patriots came back with a 3-pointer from Dalton Vest and a score by Jansen Hight put the Patriots in front with 2:05 remaining in the third quarter.
"Throughout the game we would get up 4, 5, 6 or 7 points and then have some silly lapses, Maesch said. "(We had) defensive breakdowns by the same people that keep breaking down. To beat good teams, we have three or four games coming up, that the effort tonight won't be enough."
The Knights were able to take a 37-36 lead into the final period on a jumper by Reynolds, who had eight points.
The fourth quarter saw both teams trade the lead heading down the stretch.
"(Jordan) Van Horn gave us a couple, three really good minutes," Maesch said. "That gave us a little bit of a cushion.
In the final minute, Lancaster scored to put the Knights up 49-47, but with time winding down, Hoadley drove baseline and drew contact while hitting the tying shot with 6.3 seconds remaining. He would hit the free throw and the outcome looked in doubt for the Knights.
However, Lancaster received the inbounds pass, drove the middle of the court before dishing to a wide-open Talbot for the winning score.
Talbot had seven points for the Knights, who hit 20-of-34 (59 percent) from the field. Mershon added eight and Robertson tallied four for Northview, which improved to 5-6 overall and 2-2 in the WIC.
Northview hosts Terre Haute South next Friday at 6 p.m.
At Owen Valley
Reynolds 4-10 0-0 8, Lancaster 8-10 5-6 21, Talbot 3-6 1-2 7, Robertson 2-3 0-0 4, Pestoff 0-0 0-0 0, Hyatt 0-0 0-0 0, Mershon 3-6 0-0 8, Ninesling 1-1 0-0 2, Van Horn 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 20-34 7-11 51.
Owen Valley (50)
Gilstrap 3-7 0-0 6, Hadley 5-8 2-2 13, Vest 7-11 2-4 18, Rice 0-0 1-2 1, Hight 5-10 0-0 10, Ray 0-1 0-0 0, Savage 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 21-40 5-8 50.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 2-7 (Mershon 2-5, Lancaster 0-1, Reynolds 0-1), OV 3-15 (Hadley 1-4, Vest 2-4, Gilstrap 0-3, Ray 0-1, Oldham 0-1, Allen 0-1, Hight 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 15 (Lancaster 3, Robertson 3), OV 17 (Hight 5, Vest 5). Total Fouls -- Nv 9, OV 15. Fouled out -- OV (Vest). Turnovers -- Nv 14, OV 12.