Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- Northview's coaching staff was convinced that its girl's basketball team had made marked improvement from last season's one-win season.
After a sluggish first quarter, the Knights began to turn up the full court pressure in the second period, which resulted in a rally by Northview. Rowan hit all three of her field goal attempts and Abbey Timberman tallied all five of her points as the Knights tied the game at 16-all heading into halftime.
Sparking the rally was the defense and several transition buckets as Northview forced eight turnovers in the second quarter alone.
"It's a good confidence booster. We weren't sure what to expect," Northview coach Scott Buell said. "We were pretty nervous there in the first quarter and had trouble scoring, but once we were able to get the tempo up, put some pressure on (Greencastle) and turn them over, it really opened everything up for us. I'm really proud of how we played the last three plus quarters."
Depth was important to the defensive surge as the Knights substituted liberally and Greencastle lost a pair of starters with their second fouls of the half.
"We know we can't just sit back in half court (defense). We have to get up and pressure people. Last year we just couldn't do it because of our injuries and our numbers," Buell said. "This year with everybody healthy, we've got eight that can play, we can go out and pressure people and not worry about getting tired."
An offensive rebound and a put back by Rowan put the Knights ahead 20-18 and they wouldn't look back. Her bucket started a 12-1 run as Ashley Hughes hit a jumper and Rowan completed a three-point play for a 25-19 lead. Rowan followed with another offensive rebound and a score, Whitney Halfhill hit a pull up jumper and 6'0 sophomore Mallory Smith completed a three-point play off an offensive rebound for a 32-19 lead with 2:31 left in the quarter.
"We moved the ball well. (Greencastle) plays a really good zone and once we were able to move the ball around and hit a few shots it opened everything up for us," Buell said.
The Knights rebounding was pivotal as well with Smith adding six boards and Timberman posting five as Northview held a 45-30 advantage on the glass.
"Northview has improved a lot over a year," Greencastle coach Bradley Key said. "They didn't lose much from last year and going in we knew that could be a problem. The Rowan girl does a great job down low."
Down the stretch it was Rowan dominating the paint with seven of her 13 rebounds in the fourth quarter and Smith four boards after halftime to go with her seven points.
"With Mallory (Smith) and Mikayla (Rowan) in there we've got a lot of height and we can go get it," Buell said. "Everybody else rebounded as well."
The guard play was solid as well with senior Cassie Weddle providing seven points and four rebounds off the bench and Whitney Halfhill added four points and four rebounds.
The Knights hit seven-of-11 from the field in the fourth quarter as the lead grew to as large as 46-25 on a jumper by Weddle. Meanwhile, Greencastle struggled with its shot, hitting just seven-of-29 in the second half.
At West Vigo
Halfhill 1-1 2-2 4, Timberman 2-4 1-1 5, Hughes 2-4 0-0 4, Rowan 9-12 1-3 19, Smith 3-7 1-1 7, Kumpf 2-7 2-4 6, Weddle 2-5 3-7 7, Girton 0-2 0-0 0, Fagg 0-0 0-0 0, Barrett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-47 10-18 52.
Basile 1-5 1-3 3, Taylor 1-12 2-4 5, Earl 4-12 0-1 11, R.Amis 2-5 1-4 5, Lenihan 2-8 0-2 4, D.Stoltey 0-2 0-0, Bridgewater 1-2 0-0 2, Smiley 0-2 0-0 0, Covert 0-1 2-2 2, T.Stoltey 1-1 2-4 4. Totals: 13-50 8-20 36.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 0-3 (Timberman 0-1, Hughes 0-1, Girton 0-1), GC 4-17 (Taylor 1-3, Earl 3-8, Basile 0-4, R.Amis 0-1, Covert 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 45 (Rowan 13, Smith 6, Timberman 5), GC 30 (R.Amis 5, Lenihan 4, Taylor 4, Earl 4). Total Fouls -- Nv 17, GC 19. Fouled out -- Nv (Hughes), GC (Lenihan). Turnovers -- Nv 24, GC 25.