Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- For much of Friday night's rematch against the Terre Haute South Braves, Northview played their opponent even on the road. However, it was a couple of brief runs to start the game and to open the second half that allowed South to open enough breathing room to finish off a 63-49 victory over the Knights that was closer than the final score might indicate.
"We gave them a 6-0 lead on a couple of plays that we shouldn't have made," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said the Knights' slow start. "They scored three right before half and then they get four or six in a row to start the second half. That right there is basically the game. It wasn't a 14-point game there at the end, it was really a six, seven, eight-point game."
Jermaine Smith was the culprit in getting the Braves off to a quick start with a 3-pointer from the wing and a turnover fed a three-point play by Smith for the 6-0 Braves' advantage.
Northview kept the Braves' Jeffrey Turner, who averages 19 points per game, in check over most of the game. The versatile 6'2 guard/forward, had just three total shots from the field in the opening half.
However, it was South's role players that stepped into the limelight as 5'10 Sean Benford hit four mid-range jumpers in the opening quarter to put the Braves ahead 14-8 at the first stop. In the second period it was a couple of late lay-ins by 6'4 forward Austin England and a 3-pointer from Monte Stevenson that kept South out front.
However, the Knights rallied back behind a 3-pointer from Craig Peters and two lay-ins by Chance Talbot, who missed most of the half with two fouls, but was re-inserted late in period number two. The gamble paid off as hits scores got the Knights even with time running out in the half.
The Braves carried that surge into the second half as several Knights' turnovers fed a Braves run to a 37-23 lead with 4:42 remaining in the third quarter. Benford scored on a fast break and Smith nailed a jumper. A Northview turnover led to a 3-pointer by Lucas Steward and the Knights were staring up a double-digit mountain once again.
"The difference in the game was we turned it over just a little too much and we took some quick shots and dug ourselves a hole," Maesch admitted.
Northview fell prey to the same issues in the second half of the Wabash Valley tourney, but this time, the Knights used their own defensive pressure to rally.
Talbot scored twice on lay-ins to finish the quarter, the second off a nice feed from Damon Hyatt to get Northview within 40-30.
In the fourth quarter, Dillon Reynolds kept the Knights within striking distance with a jumper, two free throws and a steal and lay-in to get his team within 46-38. Jacob Ninesling added a free throw and after Benford scored on a drive, Hyatt got a 3-pointer to carom around the rim and in as the Knights crept within 48-42.
Unfortunately at that point, Turner came to life as he stopped settling for jumpers and worked inside to battle in the paint. The result was that he scored 11 of his 16 points in the final five minutes of the game to put the game away.
Reynolds tallied 10 of his game-high 18 points in the final quarter and added seven rebounds in the game. Talbot had 13 points with Peters contributing nine.
Despite the eventual loss, Maesch saw some positives to build upon.
In the JV game, second half turnovers enabled South to break away from a 15-all tie at halftime to secure a 40-30 victory. Daniel Kimball had 11 points and both Jeremy Maffioli and Christian Ellis had four points.
The varsity Knights (4-7 overall) travel to Mooresville to take on the Pioneers beginning with a 6 p.m. JV game.
At T.H. South
Hyatt 2-7 1-2 7, Peters 4-9 0-0 9, Reynolds 8-16 2-3 18, Talbot 6-7 1-2 13, Mace 0-1 1-2 1, King 0-0 0-0 0, Ninesling 0-1 1-2 1, Pestoff 0-0 0-0 0, Ellis 0-1 0-1 0, Clark 0-0 0-0 0, Ball 0-0 0-0 0, Kimball 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-45 6-12 49.
T.H. South (63)
H. Smith 0-5 0-0 0, Benford 7-11 0-0 14, J.Smith 5-9 5-6 16, Turner 5-12 5-6 16, Steward 2-4 1-4 9, Gregory 0-1 1-2 1, Long 0-2 0-0 0, Etling 0-2 0-0 0, England 2-3 0-1 4, Tanoos 0-0 0-0 0, Olds 0-0 0-0 0, Stevenson 1-1 0-2 3. Totals: 23-56 12-21 63.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 3-12 (Hyatt 2-3, Peters 1-4, Reynolds 0-4, Ellis 0-1), THS 5-14 (Stevenson 1-2, J.Smith 1-2, Turner 1-3, Steward 2-5, H.Smith 0-1, Gregory 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 28 (Reynolds 7, Talbot 6), THS 35 (Turner 9). Team Rebounds -- Nv 4, THS 4. Total Fouls -- Nv 22, THS 13. Fouled out -- Nv (Talbot). Turnovers -- Nv 14, THS 5.