Times Sports Editor
The defending sectional champion, Martinsville Artesians, took their first step towards a repeat by overcoming a double-digit third quarter deficit to pull away to a 59-49 victory against Northview on Tuesday night.
The Terre Haute North Patriots were the winners of the other opening night sectional match-up and will take on Terre Haute South at 6 p.m. on Friday. The Artesians will face Plainfield in the second game of the evening.
The Knights played about as well as they could have hoped over the first 22 minutes of the game, building a 37-27 lead with 2:37 remaining in the third period. Despite having its leading scorer, Trent Lancaster, sitting on the bench for the final five minutes of the first half, Northview led 25-21.
Jacob Musgrave was on fire, hitting all four of his shots from the field and Dillon Reynolds scored six of his 14 points in the opening period. The Knights missed a couple of lay-ups, but still hit 67 percent (eight-of-12) from the field to maintain the halftime lead.
After halftime, a lay-in by Reynolds off a steal by Lancaster and a jumper by Musgrave built the lead to 31-25. Reynolds scored again off an assist by Lancaster and then added an offensive rebound and a putback. A steal by Caleb Mershon led to a score by Lancaster, who had 13 points in the game. Reynolds hit two free throws to cap a 8-2 and the Knights were ahead by 10 points.
Northview coach Ernie Maesch felt that the lead could have been even bigger.
"If we could have converted our lay-ups, late in the second quarter and in the early to mid-third quarter, we could have had us a 16-point lead and then it's a different ball game," Maesch said. "We missed those and we let it affect us on the other end and (Martinsville) cut it back to eight and then six (points)."
The Artesians' Jason Ray, a 6'8 junior, completed a three-point play and a Knights' turnover led to a 3-popinter by Willy Spina and Martinsville began to claw back into the game.
CJ Cazee scored off another Knights' turnover before Greg Spina ended the period with a bucket to complete a 10-0 rally to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter.
"We just had a really poor, two minutes of lack of discipline on both ends," Maesch said. "For two and a half, three quarters, we had done an excellent job of staying disciplined on both ends of the floor and we lost it for just two minutes and that gave them a tie game and they had all the momentum. We don't play well from behind."
Martinsville's deliberate Princeton-style offense that features a wealth of screens and cuts became more prevalent late in the with the Knights' trying to play from behind.
Mershon scored off a scoop-in drive, but Seth Dow answered with two free throws and Ray scored off an offensive rebound with 3:30 remaining.
Trailing 48-42, the Knights got within four points after Mershon's jumper, but Martinsville stayed collected and got a lay-up off a backcut by Derek Krebs, who led the Artesians with 17 points.
"They took away some of the things we wanted to do, but for two and a half, three quarters, it was almost working against them because we held that lead," Maesch said. "Once it got back to a tie game with five or six minutes left it was a different story. We just lost discipline, took bad shots and gave up easy baskets that we hadn't done all game."
Northview turned the ball over the next trip down the floor and Greg Spina scored inside for the Artesians. Lancaster completed a three-point play with 1:30 left to get the Knights within 52-47, but the Artesians hit five-of-six free throws to close out the win.
For the Knights, Lancaster, Musgrave, who had 11 points and five rebounds, Mershon, Hunter Robertson, Dalton Rohr and Jordan VanHorn capped their Northview basketball careers with a 12-11 season.
"I'm proud of our seniors, they've accomplished a lot and have overcome a lot of adversity with injuries and sickness," Maesch said of the six Northview seniors. "They showed what they are capable of, they've done a lot for the school in a lot of sports. They can be real proud of that. We'll miss them."
Class 4A Northview Sectional
Reynolds 6-9 2-2 14, Lancaster 4-11 4-5 13, Mershon 2-3 0-0 4, Robertson 1-2 1-2 3, Musgrave 5-7 1-2 11, Hyatt 1-1 0-1 2, Ninesling 1-1 0-0 2, Pestoff 0-0 0-0 0, VanHorn 0-0 0-0 0, Rohr 0-0 0-0 0, Hull 0-0 0-0 0, Talbot 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-30 8-12 49.
Krebs 6-8 3-3 17, Dow 1-7 1-2 3, Ray 6-10 4-6 16, Barker 1-2 0-0 2, G.Spina 4-11 0-0 8, Cazee 2-3 0-1 4, W.Spina 1-3 2-2 5, Schenck 2-2 0-0 4, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Arnold 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-46 10-14 59.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 1-4 (Lancaster 1-2, Reynolds 0-1, Mershon 0-1), MV 3-8 (Krebs 2-3, W.Spina 1-1, Dow 0-2, Ray 0-1, G.Spina 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 14 (Musgrave 5), MV 25 (Ray 7, G.Spina 5). Total Fouls -- Nv 17, MV 15. Turnovers -- Nv 8, MV 6.