Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- A much-improved Northview girls' basketball team might not have earned the sectional victory that it was seeking against Terre Haute North on Tuesday, but the team's growth was plenty evident despite a 38-29 loss to the Patriots.
In a rematch of a 53-14 victory by the Patriots back on Dec. 13, North's duo of 6'2 Adrienne Pritchard and 6'1 Nicole Anderson combined for 35 points and 26 rebounds. So it was apparent what the Knights would need to do in order to compete in the sectional opener played on the Patriots' home court.
"Our game plan coming in was that we have to take away the inside," Northview coach Scott Buell said. "Pritchard and Anderson just killed us the first time we played. I know Nicole (Anderson) has been out, but she's a great player and Pritchard has been playing extremely well. She scored 30 in their last game."
The Knights succeeded in limiting the pair's effectiveness, holding Pritchard to just three points and two rebounds. It was Anderson's versatility and her teammates' outside shooting that carried the day for North.
The Patriots got three 3-pointers from sophomore Layne Curley in the first half and Anderson stepped out to hit one as well to put North up 24-18 at intermission.
Credit Northview for handling the Patriots press for the most part and junior guard Ashley Hughes for being aggressive and looking for her shot.
Hughes knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter to narrow North's lead and Abbey Timberman scored all six of her points before halftime.
"Her aggression was there, she was taking it to the basket strong. We needed that out of her," Buell said of Hughes.
"We wanted to take away the inside. You have to give Terre Haute credit, they hit the '3' and (Layne) Curley hit some shots and their other girls stepped up and hit some shots," Buell said. "That was probably the difference in the game. (North) being able to hit that shot when we were giving it to them."
The Patriots gained some separation to start the second half as Lindsay Clark stepped out to hit a 3-pointer, one of seven by North in the game. Hughes, who had 14 points for the Knights, drove in for a bucket, but Anderson followed by scoring off a drive. The junior then nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to give North a 38-20 advantage.
The Knights got a score from Mallory Smith off a nice assist from Whitney Halfhill to end the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Knights' clamped down on defense and allowed their offense to narrow the gap.
Smith got to the line for a pair of free throws and Hughes answered with a pair of scores, the second on a pull-up jumper that narrowed the lead to 38-28. Northview was able to hold the Patriots scoreless in the final period as the Knights clawed back within 38-29 on a free throw by Smith, who had seven points.
"I thought our effort was great. We had a little trouble scoring on offense. I'm really proud of the girls," Buell said. "We've been through a really difficult season. Mikayla (Rowan) wasn't able to play tonight. She's still fighting through the injury. Looking to the future, we don't lose anybody. We've got to get into the weight room and get stronger. I think that strength will make a huge difference on being able to handle the pressure."
Smith had six rebounds to lead the Knights, but she got plenty of help as Halfhill had five and both Hughes and Timberman had four.
The wrap up a 1-20 season, but return everyone to a team that had seven freshmen on the varsity roster.
"There was definitely no quit in this team," Buell said. "That really shows the character of them and their resolve to be a good basketball team."
Class 4A Terre Haute North Sectional
Halfhill 0-2 0-0 0, Timberman 3-6 0-0 6, Kumpf 0-4 0-0 0, Hughes 6-12 0-2 14, Girton 0-2 0-0 0, Weddle 0-5 2-2 2, Smith 2-3 3-4 7, Barrett 0-0 0-0 0, Fagg 0-0 0-0 0, Buell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-34 5-8 29.
T.H. North (39)
Seeley 1-5 0-0 2, Clark 2-7 0-0 5, Curley 4-8 1-2 12, Pritchard 1-3 1-4 3, Anderson 5-9 1-2 14, Ruark 0-0 0-0 0, Dickerson 1-6 0-0 2, Sykes 0-5 0-0 0, Bendickson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 14-50 3-8 39.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 2-4 (Hughes 2-2, Weddle 0-1, Kumpf 0-1), THN 7-17 (Curley 3-5, Anderson 3-4, Clark 1-1, Seeley 0-2, Sykes 0-3, Dickey 0-1, Bendick 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 30 (Smith 6, Halfhill 5, Hughes 4, Timberman 4), THN 33 (Anderson 33). Team rebounds -- Nv 3, THN 4. Total Fouls -- Nv 11, THN 11. Turnovers -- Nv 15, THN 8.