Times Sports Editor
Weather forced both the Northview and South Putnam boy's basketball teams to miss nearly two weeks of game action and the rust was readily apparent during Thursday's match-up between the squads.
Neither team could find their shooting stroke early on, but the Knights were able to get 22 points from their bench to keep the Eagles winless on the season with a 58-42 victory.
The win was far from easy for the Knights, who shot just one-of-11 from 3-point range during the first half. However, 6'5 senior Jacob Musgrave was able to use his size to get to the free throw line early for six points and grabbed eight of his 10 rebounds before halftime.
"He did a good job of being physical, he's the biggest kid out there on the floor," Northview varsity assistant coach Phil Leonard said of Musgrave. "He gave us a lot with his size, attacked the boards and got us some offensive rebounds and second opportunities and got to the free throw line a little bit."
South Putnam hung close during the first half as 6'4 Cory Stanton tallied six points and four boards for the Eagles, who trailed 24-17 at halftime.
With the Eagles in a zone defense much of the night, South Putnam forced the Knights to rely more on their perimeter shooting and it began to come around a bit in the second half.
Trent Lancaster and Dillon Reynolds each hit one in the third quarter and Zach Hull scored in transition off an assist from Caleb Mershon to push the lead to 32-21 for the Knights. Sawyer Arnold countered with a jumper for the Eagles and Brayden Freeman added a leaner in the paint to get South Putnam back to within 34-27. However, Northview ended the period on a 9-2 run.
Lancaster hit a jumper, Musgrave added two free throws, Hunter Robertson scored off a pass from Reynolds, who ended the period with a 3-pointer and a 43-24 lead for the Knights.
"Give South Putnam credit, they are still playing hard and tough to get that win, Leonard said. "You've got to give them all the credit in the world because they weren't going to back down."
In the fourth quarter, Freeman nailed a 3-pointer to open the quarter, but the Knights answered back with a bomb from Damon Hyatt. Robertson and Freeman traded buckets before Northview's Jacob Ninesling scored on back-to-back lay-ups to push the gap back to 52-34.
"Being off last week and coming back into this game, it's a tough one to come back into," Leonard said.
Arnold would score for the Eagles and would hit a late 3-pointer as part of a team-high 12 points, but the deficit was too much to overcome for the Eagles.
Lancaster led the Knights with 16 points with Musgrave adding nine on seven-of-eight shooting from the free throw line. Both Hull and Hyatt tallied six for the Knights, who got 10 rebounds from Musgrave.
The Knights improve to 8-9 overall while the Eagles drop to 0-16 this season. The Knights travel to Monrovia on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. JV game.