Times Sports Editor
VINCENNES -- Northview looked every bit the part of a boy's basketball team playing it's first game of the season. Unfortunately, Vincennes Lincoln appeared in mid-season form while taking a 69-54 decision on Wednesday night.
The Alices came out firing, knocking down 10 of their first 15 shots of the game with Avory Mickens and Cole Claycomb each drilling 3-pointers as Vincennes took a 16-6 lead in the opening quarter. Meanwhile, the Knights were ice cold over the course of the first 16 minutes, hitting only six-of-28 from the field before halftime. The result put Northview behind 32-18 at the break.
"They got off to a tremendous start and that's on me. I need to do a little better job there trying to help our guys control the start of the game," Northview coach Clint Weddle said. "Kudos to (Vincennes) for knocking down some shots and putting themselves in a situation where we were trying to climb a ladder the rest of the night."
One bright spot for the Knights was constant energy and a lack of quit despite trailing by double-digits early.
Mickens, a 6'3, 230-pound junior, scored two quick buckets to open the second half on his way to a 16-point, eight-rebound effort despite missing a large chunk of time after picking up his second foul in the first half. Weddle noted that his team will see players of Mickens caliber throughout the season and will have to plan for them.
"I imagine every team we play is going to have a guy that is pretty big and can put the ball on the floor," Weddle said. "I anticipate that being the case. I'm going to have to do things to put these guys in position to be successful."
While the junior guard did plenty of damage, it was 5'8 Cole Claycomb that took the air out of a couple of second half rallies by the Knights.
A jumper by Craig Peters and a 3-pointer by Devin Clark got Northview within 43-30 in the third quarter. However, Claycomb answered on the next possession with one of his five, 3-pointers in the game. Devin Lett added two free throws and a score off an offensive rebound in transition and the lead had ballooned to 50-30. A three-point play by the Knights' Ethan Whitson and a jumper by Ellis narrowed the gap back to 51-35, but Claycomb nailed back-to-back shots from long range to derail Northview's threat.
The fourth quarter lead would grow to 67-42 before Northview answered with a jumper by Daniel Kimball, a 3-pointer by Joe Ball, a bucket by Peter Tanoos and a free throw from Clark. Kimball added four more points in the waning minutes to complete a 12-2 run to end the game for the Knights.
"I think we're going to have answers, but it's going to take us, again we talk about it being a marathon, not a sprint for what we are putting together. We'll get there, I have no doubt about it," Weddle said. "We just have to continue battle the rest of the way through."
After facing the Class 3A Alices, ranked 22nd in the pre-season poll, the Knights open the home slate Nov. 30 against Terre Haute North, which won a four overtime game against Evansville Central to start the season.
Weddle relishes the challenge of starting the year with some challenging opponents.
"You can't ask for a better start," Weddle said in reference to the early schedule. "We're here and then we come home and play (Terre Haute) North next week and then jump right into conference play. I'm excited for that and these guys are excited for that. We want absolutely nothing but to play the best people we can possibly play. That is going to make us better and let us see what we need to work on."
At Vincennes Lincoln
Peters 3-10 0-0 8, Ball 2-9 0-0 5, Hakman 1-5 0-0 2, Whitson 2-8 2-3 7, Mace 3-5 2-4 8, Clark 1-3 1-2 4, Ellis 3-6 0-1 8, Rogers 0-4 0-0 0, Kimball 5-7 0-1 10, Tanoos 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 21-58 5-11 54.
Vincennes Lincoln (69)
Nowaskie 1-5 0-0 2, Toole 2-2 0-0 4, Claycomb 6-10 2-4 19, Sprinkle 7-12 3-5 17, Mickens 7-13 0-0 16, Barmes 1-2 1-1 3, Lett 2-3 2-3 6, Montgomery 0-2 2-2 2, Batty 0-0 0-0 0, Guess 0-0 0-0 0, Pratt 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-50 10-15 69.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 7-28 (Peters 2-6, Ellis 2-3, Ball 1-7, Clark 1-3, Whtison 1-2, Rogers 0-4, Hakman 0-3), VL 6-14 (Claycomb 5-9, Mickens 1-2, Nowaskie 0-1, Montgomery 0-2). Total Rebounds -- Nv 31 (Mace 8, Ellis 4), VL 37 (Mickens 8, Lett 6, Sprinkle 5). Total Fouls -- Nv 18, VL 15. Fouled out -- Nv (Peters). Turnovers -- Nv 8, VL 8.