Times Sports Editor
It's unlikely that game tape of Friday's girl's basketball tussle between Northview and West Vigo will be headed to a museum, but for the Knights, the beauty was in the eye of the beholder.
Neither team had much success on the offensive end of the floor, but the Knights used a 10-0 run stretching between the third and fourth quarters to scratch out a 26-22 victory over the Vikings.
Northview shot a chilly 26 percent (10-of-38) from the field during the game, but their defense was the polar opposite, holding West Vigo to just 15 percent (7-of-47) from the field. While disappointed in the team's offensive output, Northview coach Scott Buell was pleased with how his team reacted defensively.
"We'd had a really good week of practice. I thought we were ready to go, but we just really struggled on the offensive end tonight," Buell said. "When we got the open shots, we couldn't knock them down. We played very good defense. We held (West Vigo) to a really low shooting percentage, turned them over a lot. Defensively we were solid. We just really struggled on offense."
After a 10-10 tie at halftime, and three more ties during the third quarter, West Vigo was able to take a 19-16 lead in the final minute of the period as freshman Kylie Cardinal nailed a 3-pointer.
However, that was where the Vikings went ice cold and Northview began making the key plays down the stretch.
Mallory Smith ended the third period with her lone score of the contest and McKenzi Kumpf followed with a jumper off a feed from Mikayla Rowan to put Northview ahead 20-19. Kumpf, who also had seven steals defensively, was second on the team with nine points and added seven rebounds.
She would follow the jumper with an offensive rebound of a Rowan 3-point miss, scored and completed a three-point play, which put the Knights in control at 23-19.
"We had really active hands. Kenzi (Kumpf) did a good job of getting deflections and getting steals," Buell of the sophomore. "We struggled rebounding a bit at times out of the zone that we were trying, but I like it. It's causing a lot of havoc with people and it's taking them out of their offense. We just have to figure out how to put the ball in the bucket at the other end."
Overall, the Knights forced 21 turnovers by the Vikings.
Leading by four points, Ashley Hughes scored off a steal and Whitney Halfhill added a free throw for a 26-19 lead with just 1:08 remaining in the game.
The Vikings' only fieldgoal in the fourth quarter came with just 13 seconds remaining as McKenzie Little knocked home a 3-pointer, but the Knights finished out the WIC victory.
While ugly, Buell noted that any victory is a good one as Northview improved to 4-5 overall and 1-1 in the WIC.
"At this point a win is a win and we're going to be happy about it," Buell said. "We've got two big games next week."
Northview hosts Terre Haute North on Tuesday night with a 6 p.m. junior varsity tip-off.
West Vigo (22)
Little 1-10 0-0 3, Voils 1-4 0-0 2, Cardinal 2-7 4-6 9, S.Elkins 1-9 0-1 2, L.Elkins 2-4 0-2 4, Lane 0-4 0-0 0, Morrison 0-5 2-4 2, Byrley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 7-47 6-13 22.
Halfhill 0-3 1-5 1, Kumpf 3-8 3-7 9, Hughes 2-7 0-1 4, Rowan 4-9 2-2 10, Smith 1-9 0-0 2, Fagg 0-1 0-0 0, Weddle 0-1 0-0 0, Girton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-38 6-15 26.
3-point fieldgoals -- WV 2-15 (Little 1-5, Cardinal 1-3, Lane 0-3, Houser 0-4), Nv 0-6 (Hughes 0-3, Smith 0-1, Rowan 0-1, Halfhill 0-1). Total Rebounds -- WV 41 (L.Elkins 8, S.Elkins 7), Nv 33 (Kumpf 7, Rowan 5). Total Fouls -- WV 17, Nv 14. Turnovers -- WV 21, Nv 21.