Times Sports Editor
The Northview Knights celebrated senior night in style by topping visiting Greencastle for at least the 16th consecutive time dating back to before the 1993-94 season. Northview earned the victory by a 46-33 margin as Tiger Cubs' senior Nick Hutcheson reached a rare plateau of 1,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds with a second quarter board.
"He's meant a lot (to the program)," Greencastle coach Troy Greenlee said of Hutcheson. "When you can count on a guy to get a lot of rebounds and carry the load in the scoring. So he's meant a lot. Just wish we all could have had a better night to pass that milestone."
Northview seniors Damon Hyatt, Dillon Reynolds, Chance Talbot, Jacob Ninesling and Bryant Pestoff played large roles in this victory, but none were bigger than the defensive job that Pestoff did on the Tiger Cubs' Hutcheson.
The 6'7 Hutcheson came into the game averaging nearly 25 points per game and 15 boards per contest. However, Pestoff was one of the defenders chief in the outcome that saw Hutcheson end up with just eight points and six boards.
"Bryant Pestoff is a giant killer," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said. "He's done it against (former Terre Haute North Patriot, Justin) Gant and he did it against (Hutcheson) the last two years. You can tell him what a guy is going to do and he can shut them down. He did it tonight and I can't be happier about it. He drew two charges and we've missed that. My hats off to these seniors."
Greenlee was left with more questions than answers in regards to the rest of the game as Greencastle lost for the first time in February.
"We've got to figure out where to go from here," Greenlee said. "We'll put it behind us and come in here tomorrow ready for practice.
"We hadn't played for about 10 days. I don't know if it was that or what it was," Greenlee added. "I just get tired of coming here and feeling this way when we play here. For some reason it just felt like we weren't ready to play tonight. I can't put my finger on it."
Turnovers in the second half played a large role in the outcome as Greencastle hung with the Knights before intermission, trailing just 25-24 as Jesse Tesmer had 10 points and four boards before break. Greencastle had its troubles with Reynolds, who had nine of his 13 points over the opening quarters.
In the third quarter, neither team had much success protecting the ball early as back-to-back turnovers by both squads kept the Knights' one-point margin alive.
Northview's 6'2 senior Chance Talbot scored twice on lay-ins off feeds to him cutting to the basket along the baseline. A third straight turnover by Greencastle led to another bucket by Talbot, the third straight for the forward and Northview's lead grew to 31-24 with 3:56 left in the third quarter.
Greenlee wasn't happy with the role the turnovers played in allowing the Knights to build upon their lead.
"We've got to control the ball better and take care of it when teams pressure us," Greenlee said. "We need to be poised with the ball instead of trying to make plays that we can't make. We need to finish at the rim. Name it, we've got to do it. Tonight was very disappointing. I thought we had come a long way in the last few weeks, but tonight we took a step backward."
Greencastle would make a run to within 31-29 as Hutcheson scored off an offensive rebounds and Tesmer completed a three-point play, but a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Northview's Craig Peters silenced the run and gave the Knights a 34-29 heading to the final quarter.
In the fourth, Northview continued its surge, getting a pair of free throws by Reynolds before a dunk by Hutcheson. However, the Tiger Cubs couldn't build upon their own momentum created by the 6'7 forward.
Peters followed with a lay-in and added a bucket off an assist by Reynolds after a hard foul.
Trailing 40-33 after two free throws by Hutcheson with 5:36 remaining, Greencastle wouldn't get any closer as Northview worked the clock for three, late lay-ins and a victory.
The Knights got a balanced effort as Talbot led the way with 14 points, Peters had 11 and Reynolds added 13.
Maesch was pleased with the victory that provides some momentum heading into Friday's county tilt at Clay City.
"A lot of teams would have come out here tonight and lost by 20 or 25 points against a great Greencastle team," Maesch said. "They are favored to win their sectional. These seniors came out ready to play, guys came off the bench. Craig Peters played unbelievable. Chance Talbot stepped up and we were patient, we picked (Greencastle) apart and played the smartest game we've played all year."
In the junior varsity contest, Northview won 41-37 as Ian Heffner and Christian Ellis had 10 points apiece. Greencastle was led by 12 from Anthony Mitchell, nine from Tanner Nicholson and six from Colyn Foxx.
Greencastle (11-6) returns to action at home on Friday night while the Knights (7-12) face Clay City on the road the same night.
Huber 2-4 0-0 4, Gilliam 0-0 0-0 0, Christy 1-2 0-0 3, Stuckwisch 1-5 0-2 3, Hutcheson 3-12 2-2 8, Muncie 0-0 0-0 0, Haussin 0-2 2-2 2, Tesmer 6-9 1-1 13, Keyt 0-0 0-0 0, Foxx 0-0 0-0 0, Gerard 0-0 0-0. Totals: 13-35 5-7 33.
Hyatt 1-5 0-0 2, Reynolds 5-9 2-2 13, Talbot 7-9 0-0 14, Ninesling 1-1 0-0 2, Pestoff 1-2 0-0 2, Peters 4-11 0-1 11, Ball 0-2 0-0 0, Mace 1-4 0-0 2, Kimball 0-0 0-0 0, Clark 0-0 0-0 0, Hakman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-43 2-3 46.
3-point fieldgoals -- GC 2-6 (Christy 1-1, Stuckwisch 1-4, Haussin 0-1), Nv 4-10 (Peters 3-6, Reynolds 1-2, Hyatt 0-1, Ball 0-1). Total Rebounds -- GC 18 (Tesmer 7, Hutcheson 6), Nv 25 (Talbot 5, Peters 3, Ninesling 3). Team rebounds -- GC 2, Nv 3. Total Fouls -- GC 9, Nv 13. Turnovers -- GC 19, Nv 14.