Northview comes up short in battle with Cougars
By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
As the regular season hits winds down to its final two weeks, the Northview Knights are prepping for the postseason. That means facing a bevy of solid teams down the stretch.
On Saturday night, an athletic and high octane Bloomington North squad came calling and came away with a 64-56 victory over the Knights.
The Cougars ratcheted up a full court and three-quarter court trap that gave the Knights some early fits as North took an 11-4 lead after the first quarter. However, the Knights were able to work on their won press, which found a great deal of success as well.
While the Knights were fighting for some breathing room on early possessions, the Cougars matched Northview with eight turnovers in the opening period.
“We’ve not seen a team that can play side-to-side as fundamentally as (Bloomington North) have and do the things defensively that they did the entire game,” Northview coach Clint Weddle said. “That end of it was really good for us. If we are going to have success in the postseason, those are things we can prepare for now.”
Despite missing all 12 of its shots from the field over the opening eight minutes, the Knights remained close with its own trap that North struggled to solve.
“That first quarter really bit us there. As talented an offensive team as we are, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a team get four free throws and not get some field goals in the first quarter,” Weddle said. “From that point on, offensively, we got more used to what they were doing defensively.”
Once each team made some adjustments offensively, the pace quickened even more.
Northview got seven second quarter points from Brigham Booe, five from Dylan Hyatt and four by Jensen Kellett. The Knights poured in 19 points in the second period, by the Cougars, averaging 70 points per game this season, matched the home team’s effort.
Six-foot-six inch junior Musa Jallow, with scholarship offers from Indiana University, Purdue and Butler amongst his 14 offers, scored 10 of his game-high 23 in the second period for the Cougars.
Bloomington North built a 34-24 lead early in the third quarter as freshman Jack Townsend hit a 3-pointer.
The Knights turned up the pressure and found its stroke at the offensive end to counter the Cougars.
Kellett hit a pair of free throws, Booe hit a corner 3-pointer and Dylan Hyatt added another. A three-point play off an offensive rebound got the Knights within 38-37 late in the period, but the Cougars had an answer.
Townsend, who had hit 11 3-pointers in a game earlier this season, hit a pair of 3-pointers to push the gap back to five points. A Kellett 3-pointer to end the quarter got Northview within 46-42 to end the period.
“A few free throws here and there were available for us and I think the gap we couldn’t close off because every time we got it down to four or five (points), boom, there was a three in the corner or an offensive rebound that they got,” Weddle noted. “We were just maybe one play away from getting over the hump and unfortunately we weren’t able to do that.”
Drew Lumsdon got Northview within 53-50 with 4:27 remaining in the game with a three-point play. However, Jallow responded in kind with his own driving three-point completion.
Jallow would score off an offensive rebound to extend the margin and senior Sean Rudder, scoreless through three quarters, hit six-of-eight free throws in the final quarter. His final free throw gave the Cougars a 64-54 lead and the Knights ran out of time for a last rally.
“Defensively that was a back and forth, up and down, all over the floor (game),” Weddle said. “A lot of guys covering a lot of ground from side to side trying to get some steals and traps in that type of game tonight.”
Kellett, Booe and Lumsdon each had 15 points for the Knights.
The Cougars won the junior varsity contest 54-34.
The Knights are now 15-7 overall and host Edgewood on Tuesday evening.
Kellett 4-10 6-6 15, Hyatt 3-9 1-1 8, Booe 5-16 4-5 15, Tucker 1-5 1-2 3, Lumsdon 4-10 6-7 15, Roembke 0-1 0-0 0, Schane 0-3 0-2 0. Totals: 16-54 18-23 56.
Bloomington North (64)
Rudder 1-3 6-8 8, Wilkerson 1-8 0-0 2, Jallow 8-9 5-8 23, Brewster 1-4 2-4 4, Calvin 1-2 1-2 3, Morgan 5-7 0-0 10, Dolson 0-0 0-0 0, Vencel 0-1 0-0 0, Townsend 5-12 0-0 14. Totals: 22-46 14-22 64.
3-point field goals - Nv 4-23 (Kellett 1-2, Hyatt 1-2, Booe 1-10, Lumsdon 1-3, Tucker 0-4, Schane 0-2), BN 6-19 (Townsend 4-11, Jallow 2-3, Wilkerson 0-3, Morgan 0-1, Brewster 0-1). Total Rebounds - Nv 34 (Kellett 9, Lumsdon 6), BN 36 (Jallow 9, Rudder 8). Total Fouls - Nv 21, BN 20. Fouled out - Nv (Booe). Turnovers - Nv 17, BN 20.