Times Sports Editor
Northview got just the kind of contest it needed heading into the home stretch of the girl's basketball season. A physical battle with a solid Danville team might have been just what the doctor ordered. Most importantly, the Knights overcame an early deficit and got a much needed win over the Warriors, 46-41.
"We're on the home stretch of the season, the last five games over the last three weeks. I thought tonight was key to getting us on the right track," Northview coach Scott Buell said. "Hopefully we can put some games together and have some momentum heading into the tournament."
Danville had all the momentum during the early minutes of the game as freshman Hannah Newby knocked home a 3-pointer and Danville got two early buckets from 6'2 sophomore Morgan Bear for an early 10-2 lead.
"We started the game trying to mix it up a little bit and (Danville) scored 10 quick points. Then we went straight man (defense) and we played really solid all game," Buell said of the rough start for the Knights.
Despite the early scuffles for Northview, the Knights rallied back after Bear went to the bench with a second foul. Mikayla Rowan aggressively went to the rim and posted six points to get Northview within 12-11 after one quarter.
The Knights tied the score at 18-all heading into halftime, setting up a nip and tuck final 16 minutes of the game.
Bear opened the second half with a quick bucket, but Rowan answered with a pair of hoops before the Warriors' post was sidelined with an arm injury. Her absence enabled the Knights some room to work according to Buell.
"She was tough inside," Buell said of the Warriors' 6'2 post. "When she caught it on the block, she was pretty good at scoring. When she went out, it helped open up the middle for us."
Northview took a quick lead off a baseline jumper by Ashley Hughes, but it was answered by Allie Lake for a 32-31 lead for the Warriors. However, Rowan hit a free throw and followed with a bucket off a beautiful feed from Weddle. A three-point play by Whitney Halfhill was huge as it gave Northview a 37-32 advantage with 4:41 remaining.
The Knights' defense picked up its intensity, forcing five Warrior turnovers in the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter we really turned it up," Buell said. "We went smaller and quicker to try and match their small, quick lineup out their on the floor. It really helped us on defense and it was key down the stretch."
Nicki Kiefer cut the lead to 37-35 with a 3-pointer, but Rowan followed with two free throws on her way to a 23-point, 14-rebound effort. Her aggressive mentality in the post was important to Northview's cause according to Buell.
"She wanted the ball tonight and when she got it, she was attacking. To go 23 (points) and 14 (rebounds), that is a tremendous night out of her. Hopefully she can continue with that."
A free throw from Weddle and a bucket by Rowan pushed the gap to 42-35 and Weddle drained a 3-pointer with barely a minute remaining to give Northview a 45-36 lead.
"Cassie brings a lot of energy to us on both ends," Buell said. "She drives it hard, she's a good defender out there for us, and we really fed off her energy there at the end of the game."
Gould answered with a 3-pointer for the Warriors, but despite some free throw shooting miscues by the Knights, Danville got no closer than 45-41 in the final seconds.
Weddle tallied eight points for the Knights to go with six from Kumpf and three apiece by Hughes, Smith and Halfhill.
The Knights improve to 6-10 overall with a 6 p.m. road game against South Vermillion on Friday.
Kumpf 3-14 0-4 6, Weddle 2-3 2-4 8, Hughes 1-4 1-4 3, Rowan 9-13 5-8 23, Smith 1-5 1-2 3, Halfhill 1-1 1-1 3, Timberman 0-0 0-0 0, Girton 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 17-42 10-21 46.
Gould 2-9 2-2 7, Lake 1-9 5-7 7, Lynch 0-1 0-0 0, Newby 3-7 0-1 9, Bear 3-5 0-2 6, Collins 0-1 0-0 0, Kiefer 1-4 1-2 4, Motter 1-2 0-0 2, Ford 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor 3-3 0-2 6. Totals: 14-35 8-16 41.
3-point fieldgoals -- Nv 2-4 (Weddle 2-2, Hughes 0-1, Girton 0-1), Dv 3-15 (Gould 1-5, Kiefer 1-3, Newby 1-3, Lake 0-3, Motter 0-1). Total Rebounds -- Nv 38 (Rowan 14, Hughes 6, Kumpf 6), Dv 25 (Lake 5, Collins 4). Total Fouls -- Nv 14, Dv 19. Fouled out -- Dv (Lake). Turnovers -- Nv 21, Dv 16.
JV game: Northview lost 42-29 (Brittany Fagg 16, Sydney Buell 5, Jessica Baker 4).