Times Sports Editor
SPENCER -- The Northview girls' basketball team might have found some of the answers that it has been looking for over the course of the first half of the season. Unfortunately, the Knights couldn't quite apply them in a victory.
The Knights rallied back from a 12-point deficit after three quarters to take a fourth period lead with a minute remaining. However, Owen Valley's Alicia Wilson hit a tying lay-in in the waning seconds and the go-ahead free throws with less than a second remaining to help the Patriots pull out a 49-47 conference victory.
After a 17-day layoff between games, there was plenty of rust evident for the Knights, who turned the ball over 14 times in the first half as Owen Valley took a 31-20 lead into halftime. Wilson was the main catalyst with a host of steals that turned into points. The junior guard posted 11 of he 17 points before the break to pace her team.
As unhappy as coach Scott Buell was with his team's play before the half, he was equally pleased at how his team responded, especially in a wild fourth quarter rally.
Mikayla Rowan opened the scoring with a bucket and a Patriots' turnover led to a three-point play by senior Ashley Hughes that narrowed the gap to 42-35.
Free throw shooting plagued Owen Valley during the Northview run, as Wilson missed four straight free throws during a 17-1 Knights' surge.
Hughes followed with two more free throws as did Rowan, who had a team-high 16 points and 17 rebounds. Mallory Smith forced a Patriots' turnover and Hughes scored off a lob with 3:40 remaining. Less than 30 seconds later, Cassie Weddle knocked home a pair from the line to knot the score at 43-all with 3:13 left in the game.
Buell was obviously pleased with his team's response down the stretch.
"I told them after the game that at halftime I was as disappointed as I've ever been and I was probably as proud as I've ever been there in the fourth quarter," Buell said. "We finally got after it. We played with the passion and the intensity that I know we are capable of playing."
Weddle added two more from the line, part of an eight-point game, to give the Knights their first lead of the game with 2:33 left. Rowan scored on a driving lay-in to increase the advantage to 47-43 with just 1:03 remaining.
Owen Valley senior Hannah Corder snapped a 12-0 run by the Knights, hitting two shots from the line. An inopportune Northview turnover led to Wilson's tying drive and the Knights missed a pair of free throws to open the door for the Patriots.
Wilson drove the lane as the clock wound down and was fouled on her shot. She sank both shots with 0.6 seconds left to put the Patriots ahead 49-47.
The Knights sent in a long inbound pass that found its way to Rowan, but her shot caromed off the rim at the buzzer.
"We were playing extremely well. It just didn't work out for us there in the last minute," Buell said. "(Owen Valley) hit a big shot, hit a couple of free throws and it just didn't go our way there at the end."
Smith had 10 rebounds for the Knights and Buell was happy with his guard play in the second half as Hughes posted nine points, Whitney Halfhill added six to go with Weddle's eight free throws.
"Whitney (Halfhill) had a much better game tonight. She really led us on the comeback. Ashley (Hughes) finally got it going in the second half," Buell said. "She played well. We need that out of them because it's going to help open it up for the bigs on the inside."
The Knights fall to 4-9 overall, 0-3 in the WIC, and host Cascade on Tuesday evening.
At Owen Valley
Kumpf 2-8 0-0 4, Weddle 0-2 8-11 8, Hughes 3-8 3-5 9, Rowan 6-13 4-7 16, Smith 1-6 2-2 4, Halfhill 2-5 2-2 6, Girton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-42 19-27 47.
Owen Valley (49)
Wilson 6-12 4-9 17, Corder 1-4 3-4 5, Williams 1-7 2-3 5, Richardson 3-7 1-3 8, Eldridge 5-10 2-4 12, Harrington 1-4 0-0 2, Jones 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 17-46 13-23 49.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 0-4 (Halfhill 0-1, Hughes 0-3), OV 2-6 (Williams 1-4, Richardson 1-2). Total Rebounds -- Nv 36 (Rowan 17, Smith 10), OV 26 (Eldridge 7). Team rebounds -- Nv 2, OV 4. Total Fouls -- Nv 16, OV 17. Fouled out -- Nv (Smith), OV (Eldridge). Turnovers -- Nv 27, OV 17.