Northview basketball fans got a bit of a glimpse into the future Friday morning and afternoon.
The girls’ basketball program hosted the Northview Shootout, which featured summer league action for 13 teams playing four games apiece mainly. Summer league basketball has become an integral part of the development process for boys and girls programs around the state. For Northview High School, this was the first time that they were able to fully showcase their new three-court facility for tournament action.
“It is exciting. We are blessed with such a nice facility and now it is time to put it to use and I think today we did that,” Northview girls basketball head coach Zack Keyes said. “We had 13 teams in here from different high schools and it is something that we have always wanted to do. I thought today went really well.”
Teams from Monrovia, Cascade, West Vigo, South Putnam, Terre Haute North, Linton, Sullivan, White River Valley, Owen Valley, Cloverdale, South Knox, South Vermillion and Northview were in competition.
The Knights were able to pick up victories over Monrovia, Owen Valley and South Vermillion with a close loss to Terre Haute North on the day.
For Keyes, the opportunity to host such a tourney is perhaps a test run for hosting a regular season tournament in future years.
“I hope it is in the works. It is definitely something that we want to get involved in,” Keyes said of planning future regular season tournaments in the new gymnasiums. “It does take some time though because you are already scheduled out with some games, but we definitely do want to host a tournament.”
While summer is a hectic time for athletes that may compete in multiple sports, it is an important time for coaches to work with their players to keep their skill set sharp. For a young team like the Knights, it is perhaps even more important as freshmen are able to get a handle on the speed of the varsity game.
“It has been great. We are young and I think today without Haley (Richey) and Makenzie Barger that we ran out four sophomores and a freshman in our starting lineup,” Keyes said. “We were still able to win games. That is good for the kids. We are definitely getting better and we are playing in the South Putnam league as well. It makes a difference. If you are not playing in the summer then you are falling behind.”
Keyes noted that Northview will get 23 games under its collective belts during June as the Knights came off a visit to Linton last week and will also play in Clay City as well as at South Putnam during the summer season from June 4-27.
“It is great. We still travel a lot, but being able to host a tournament like this, it helps the program and it is good for the community,” Keyes noted.
The Knights’ head coach also pointed out how fortunate that Northview is to have a new facility and admits that visiting coaches have also been impressed.
“A lot of times you hear coaches come in and say that you guys are lucky to have this,” Keyes pointed out. “We definitely are (lucky to have the new facilities). We are very fortunate. I think the biggest thing now is, for our athletics in general, to use it. We have to use the facility when you have something this nice and take advantage of it.”