Times Sports Editor
The Northview's girls' basketball team is hoping the new year is a little kinder to them after battling visiting Rockville to the final horn before falling by a narrow 55-50 score.
The Knights saw some of their best offensive play of the season, but it was an 11-0 run by the Rox midway through the third quarter that turned a 23-22 Knights' advantage into a 33-23 Rockville lead.
Perhaps most importantly, it was a re-injury to freshman Mikayla Rowan's hip that ended a productive 13-point, four-rebound game for the 5-10 forward at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter.
At that point, Rockville had just got a 3-pointer form Brittany Gordon to take the lead and spark the run that also saw Knights' guard Ashley Hughes leave for a while after receiving a blow to the head.
Rockville opened up a 37-27 lead after Knights' coach Scott Buell was whistled for a technical and junior Jenifer Lee hit both of the free throws. At that point, not much was going Northview's way, but the Knights were far from beaten.
That's a tough ball game there. We were playing well, had a great first quarter, struggled there in the second and we were playing well again and then Mikayla (Rowan) got hurt," Buell said. "Then we had to re-adjust what we wanted to do so we decided to go small and press."
Pressuring the Rox is what helped the Knights get back into the game as Cassie Weddle hit two free throws and McKenzi Kumpf nailed a jumper to end the third period.
Northview's run continued into the fourth quarter as Sierra Girton scored, Kumpf added a free throw and a Rockville turnover led to a bucket by Ashley Hughes.
The middle stages of the final period featured a flurry of offense by both squads as Whitney Halfhill hit two free throws and added a tying bucket after a rebound. The freshman drove the length of the court for a score and a 41-all tie.
Lee and Hughes traded 3-pointers and Northview went ahead with a jumper from Kumpf, who had seven points.
Free throws would become a big factor down the stretch after Rockville regained the lead off a score by Lee, who had a game-high 22 points.
Weddle would hit a free throw to get the Knights within 48-47 with 2:31 remaining, but would not get any closer as Natalie Donovan followed the charity toss with a fieldgoal and Jerica Carrington and Lee hit their final four free throws to salt away the win.
"I'm very proud of the girls and their effort," Buell said. "In the fourth quarter we fought all the way to the end. Rockville got to the line 11 more times than we did, 33 to 21, and that's big in close games. Rockville has got some girls that can shoot the ball and even though their record doesn't show it, they are a solid team. They've played some tough teams."
The Knights hit just 10-of-21 from the free throw line and got a team-high 13 from Rowan and 11 from Hughes to go with six boards. Halfhill added six points and Mallory Smith had five rebounds.
"There are plenty of positives to take away from this. We scored 50 points tonight, which is 19 more than we have scored this season," Buell said.
In the JV contest, Northview earned a 22-9 victory paced by 10 points from Brittany Fagg and five from Natasha Barrett.
The Knights are now 0-10 overall and are off until Jan. 3 when the Knights host Greencastle.
Carrington 1-4 8-10 10, Lee 6-15 9-13 22, Br. Gordon 3-10 1-1 9, Donovan 2-7 1-4 5, Snodgrass 2-7 1-2 6, Tucker 0-0 0-1 0, Lear 0-1 0-0 0, Bullington 0-0 0-0 0, M. Gordon 1-2 1-2 3. Totals: 15-46 21-33 55.
Halfhill 2-5 2-2 6, Timberman 2-7 0-0 4, Weddle 0-6 4-7 4, Hughes 4-12 1-2 11, Rowan 6-10 1-2 13, Kumpf 3-5 1-2 7, Girton 2-3 1-6 5, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Buell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-47 10-21 50.
3-point fieldgoals -- Rv 4-15 (B. Gordon 2-6, Snodgrass 1-2, Lee 1-4, Donovan 0-2, Lear 0-1), Nv 2-7 (Hughes 2-3, Weddle 0-1, Halfhill 0-3). Total Rebounds -- Rv 38 (Snodgrass 5, Donovan 4, Lee 4), Nv 34 (Hughes 6, Smith 5, several with four). Team Rebounds -- Rv 9, Nv 1. Total Fouls -- Rv 20, Nv 23. Fouled out -- Rv (Snodgrass), Nv Weddle, Timberman). Turnovers -- Rv 18, Nv 20.