Times Staff Reporter
DANVILLE -- Although they entered Wednesday night on a five-game winning streak, the Northview Knights varsity basketball team finished their regular season on a low note, falling 64-63 at Danville.
"We started (the season) off very slow," Northview head coach Ernie Maesch said. "We've come on strong late. We had an opportunity to really have a great season, but we just couldn't get started quickly enough; I'd rather finish strong than start strong."
Trent Lancaster led the Knights in scoring with 18 points, including exploding in the fourth quarter for 13 of them.
Northview's defense had difficulty keeping up with Danville in the first quarter. The Warriors not only connected on two three-pointers late, but also showed determination by converting a pair of and-one plays.
Even throughout the Warriors onslaught of scoring, the Knights were only down 18-13 after the first period, thanks in part to a spectacular four-point play by Northview senior Caleb Mershon, who ended the game with 16 points.
The Knights shot out of the gate in the second quarter, as Lancaster and senior Jacob Musgrave made consecutive shots to bring the lead to within one. Musgrave finished with 12 points Wednesday.
However, Danville's Jordan Leonard boosted his team's offense in the second period, scoring seven of his total 10 points, including a buzzer-beating field goal to push the Warriors' lead to 29-23 going into halftime.
The shootout continued into the second half as both teams alternated scoring points for the majority of the game's penultimate quarter.
However, in the final period things started to get interesting for the Knights. Lancaster scored seven straight Northview points to open the quarter, but they were still down 54-47.
With four minutes left in the game, Northview was down by nine when Lancaster, Mershon and junior Dillon Reynolds each connected on consecutive three-pointers to tie the game at 56. Reynolds ended with 10 points.
Unfortunately for the Knights, Danville's Nick Thurston sealed the game for the Warriors as he drew a foul on a lay-up attempt, made the shot, then made his resulting free-throw to give his team a four-point lead with only 27 seconds left. Mershon made a last-second three which brought the final score to 64-63.
"They're very quick," Maesch said. "And it really hurt us. That was the difference in the game. Hopefully we can take sectional one game at a time and win sectionals."
Northview junior Chance Talbot scored three points Wednesday night. Talbot's classmate, Damon Hyatt scored two. Finally, senior Hunter Robertson scored two points in the loss.
The junior varsity also lost Wednesday evening, 46-41. Sophomore Craig Peters led the Knights with 13 points.
Hyatt 1-1 0-0 2, Reynolds 3-9 2-2 10, Lancaster 6-13 3-4 18, Mershon 5-7 1-1 16, Talbot 1-1 1-1 3, Robertson 1-3 0-0 2, Musgrave 5-10 2-2 12. Totals: 22-42 9-10 63.
Fields 2-4 0-0 6, Motes 2-2 0-0 4, Leonard 4-8 1-2 10, Konechnik 3-4 1-1 7, Thurston 3-5 1-1 7, Hall 9-12 6-6 26, Cooper 1-2 0-0 2, Ross 0-2 0-0 0, Morris 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 25-42 9-10 64.
3-point field goals -- NV 10-16 (Reynolds 2-4, Lancaster 3-6, Mershon 5-6), DV 5-8 (Fields 2-3, Leonard 1-2, Hall 2-3). Total Rebounds -- NV 17 (Lancaster 5, Mershon 4), DV 19 (Hall 4) Total Turnovers -- NV 9, DV 10. Total Fouls -- NV 13, DV 14.