Times Sports Editor
Northview enjoyed perhaps its best defensive performance of the season against a Brown County team that came into Saturday's WIC contest with a 4-1 overall record and averaging 55 points per game. However, a listless first half of offensive output doomed the Knights to a 41-26 defeat to the visiting Eagles.
Northview was held to just six points in the first half and was scoreless in the second quarter as the Eagles opened a 19-6 lead at intermission.
"Right now we just got through stretches where we have extreme difficulty scoring," Northview coach Scott Buell said. "Defensively we gave up 41 points to a 5-1 team so our defense was excellent. We've just got to get the ball in the basket. I was really proud of them tonight. They did not quit and we fought to the bitter end and that was definitely a positive we can take from this."
The Knights struggled with turnovers again, committing 17 in the first half alone against an experienced Brown County team that returned three starters and six of the 10 players that saw action in last year's contest.
The Eagles' six-foot duo of Sasha Robinson and Whitney Williamson gave the Knights some trouble defensively with their long reach. However, the Knights held an edge on the boards over the course of the game as Northview's freshmen posts, Mikayla Rowan and Mallory Smith held their own along with junior Sierra Girton. Rowan had 12 rebounds in the game with Girton adding four. Smith grabbed three during limited action.
The Eagles' lead grew to 24-6 early in the second half on a three-point play by Rebecca Wedan and a score by Robinson, but the Knights began to finally find an offensive rhythm.
"We showed our inexperience in the first half," Buell said. "We were playing really fast, but when we settled down and started running the stuff we had planned, we hit some shots."
Brown County was able to extend the lead to 32-13 early in the fourth quarter as a string of turnovers caused the Knights problems. However, a pair of jumpers by Halfhill, who had eight points, and a free throw from Rowan got Northview back within 37-22 before the Eagles closed out the victory.
Buell found some positives to look at in the loss, including the rebounding by the Knights.
"I thought we had rebounded the ball well tonight," Buell said of the Knights 34-30 edge on the boards. "(Brown County) is a very good team. They are long, they are athletic and they can shoot it. They are going to beat a lot of people this year. In the second half we played right with them."
The Knights (0-6 overall, 0-1 WIC) travel to West Vigo on Friday for a boy/girl doubleheader at 6 p.m.
Brown County (41)
Morgan 1-4 2-2 4, Williamson 3-5 3-4 9, Robinson 5-13 0-0 10, Wedan 1-7 4-7 6, Lory 1-4 0-2 3, Hoskins 0-2 0-2 0, Brunton 1-3 3-6 5, Dunn 1-4 0-0 2, Merryman 0-1 2-2 2.
Halfhill 4-6 0-0 8, Kumpf 0-5 0-0 0, Hughes 1-8 2-2 4, Girton 1-3 0-0 2, Rowan 3-12 3-6 9, Timberman 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 3-5 3. Totals: 9-36 8-13 26.
3-point fieldgoals -- BC 1-14 (Morgan 0-3, Hoskins 0-1, Wedan 0-6, Lory 1-4), Nv 0-6 (Weddle 0-2, Hughes 0-1, Girton 0-2, Rowan 0-1). Total Rebounds -- BC 31 (Robinson 8, Williamson 5), Nv 33 (Rowan 12, Girton 4). Team rebounds -- BC 6, Nv 4. Total Fouls -- BC 11, Nv 14. Fouled out -- BC (Robinson). Turnovers -- BC 22, Nv 30.