Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- Sullivan has had Northview's number in boy's basketball of late and in Monday's third-place contest at the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic, the Golden Arrows dialed up its fourth straight win over the Knights. The 55-41 victory gave Sullivan an 8-3 mark overall leaving the tourney and takes a little luster off a strong start to the tourney by the Knights.
Frigid shooting in the early stages of the game allowed Sullivan to come away with an 11-9 lead at the first stop as Northview hit just 6-of-27 shots before halftime. Quite a few of those shots were within a few feet of the hoop as the lid seemed to be securely atop the rim for the Knights.
Northview coach Clint Weddle agreed that the Knights' early shooting woes were a precursor for the rest of the game.
"If you can't hit those bunnies you know it's going to be a long night," Weddle said of the tough start. "We couldn't get any of them to fall in the first half."
Sullivan junior Brooks Weszely knocked home a 3-pointer in the second period and Michael Hutchcraft added a bucket as the Golden Arrows pushed out to an 18-13 lead at halftime.
In the third period a 3-pointer by Nathan Pirtle and a jumper by the sophomore was sandwiched around a hoop by the Knights' Joe Ball. A Northview turnover led to a score by Weszely as Sullivan's lead ballooned to 25-15. However, the Knights rallied back on an offensive rebound by Travis Hakman, who had 10 points, a three-point play by Jim Mace and another by Peter Tanoos got their team within 25-23.
"We made a run and we were getting sporadic defensively so he gets good looks and we dug ourselves another pretty big hole," Weddle said. "It's hard to play out of them. I wish we'd have taken better care of the basketball. I think that was as big a key as (King) making those shots."
The Knights would get back within 34-26 at the end of the third period as Ethan Whitson hit a free throw and Craig Peters followed an Arrow's turnover with a drive.
Each run Northview made was seemingly answered by Sullivan in the fourth period as the Arrows got into the bonus situation quickly and made it count down the stretch.
Max Gregory opened the quarter with an offensive rebound and a put back and followed with a pair of free throws. Hakman scored a pair of buckets for the Knights to get his team within 40-30 and Mace added a steal, lay-in and completed the three-point play. The Knights got back within 40-35 with 3:02 remaining on a pair of free throws by Peters, but turnovers began to play a huge role.
Eight turnovers in the fourth quarter alone plagued the Knights' cause and Sullivan hit 15-of-17 free throws in the final period. Four straight from the free throw line boosted the Arrows' lead back to 44-35. Mace's eighth point got the Knights within 44-37, but Weszely hit a free throw and scored off a steal to douse Northview's final run. The Sullivan junior had 15 points, six steals and six assists in the win.
The Knights (5-4 overall) face Owen Valley on the road Friday night after the 6 p.m. varsity girl's game. Sullivan (8-3 overall) hosts North Knox on Saturday.
Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic
Peters 3-6 2-2 9, Ball 1-11 0-0 2, Hakman 4-8 2-2 10, Whitson 2-9 1-2 5, Mace 3-9 2-3 8, Tanoos 2-4 1-1 5, Clark 0-2 0-0 0, Ellis 0-2 2-2 2, Kimball 0-1 0-0 0, Ragan 0-1 0-0 0, Underwood 0-0 0-0 0, Newton 0-0 0-0 0, Harden 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-53 10-12 41.
N.Pirtle 3-13 2-2 10, Gregory 3-8 4-4 10, Kinnaman 3-9 0-3 6, Hutchcraft 1-8 1-2 3, Weszely 4-6 6-8 15, King 2-3 1-2 7, Willis 1-2 0-0 2, McPhail 0-0 2-2 2. Totals: 17-49 16-21 55.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 1-10 (Peters 1-3, Ball 0-4, Ellis 0-2, Clark 0-1), SL 5-14 (Pirtle 2-8, Gregory 0-1, King 2-3, Hutchcraft 0-1, Weszely 1-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 38 (Mace 9, Peters 6, Whitson 6), SL 38 (Kinnaman 9, Gregory 7). Team rebounds -- Nv 1, SL 4. Total Fouls -- Nv 19, SL 16. Turnovers -- Nv 17, SL 14.