Feb. 2—The survive-and-advance season is here.
In postseason girls high school basketball, Northview was in the realm of the first part of that adage but couldn't deliver the latter portion.
Northview was a pest against Indian Creek for three quarters but fell 40-31 Friday night in the Class 3A Owen Valley Sectional semifinals.
The Braves (20-4) held a 32-29 advantage to start the final period and Northview elected to kill time holding the ball between the circles at the outset.
With 6:03 left in the game, junior Brynlee Clarke scored in the paint to cut it to one. After Braves senior Faith Wiseman was whistled for a charge, Northview couldn't cash in on the next possession.
The Braves looked to extinguish the clock at that juncture with a one-score lead in their pocket.
The stalled contest came down to precision at the foul line by the Braves.
With 1:11 left, sophomore Savanna Chapman was fouled holding the ball to the left of the key. She converted both free throws for a 34-31 lead.
The Braves got stops and a couple more trips to the charity stripe by Chapman resulted in four points.
The Braves continued to close the game out from the line as junior Jasmine Day hit a couple. The Braves will face Edgewood at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the sectional final.
The Knights used a box-and-one defense to keep Indiana University verbal commit Wiseman from going off. She picked up a knock early in the second quarter that sent her to the locker room.
Wiseman returned to the bench with 3:40 left in the half and checked back in nearly a minute later.
The 6-foot-4 senior was swarmed inside by significantly undersized Northview.
There was intensity from both squads.
From the jump, multiple girls on both sides were sprawling across the hardwood for loose balls and stray rebounds.
The Knights (20-5) got into a groove in the open floor with quick hits from steals as they locked down long outlet passes to the wings.
"Defensively, we were very solid for 30 minutes, really all night except for the free throws there at the end," Northview coach Zack Keyes said. "Just tried to guard the paint and slow down [senior Lauren] Foster with a chase and it worked. Our kids hit timely shots and built that lead in the first half. I thought we kind of survived the third quarter. And then it felt like we survived to get to the final two minutes. They made big free throws."
The Knights tried to keep the game in the 30s, he said. A week ago the Braves topped them 50-34.
The Knights were ousted at this same juncture last year by the Braves, 61-39.
Sophomore Reagin White announced four seconds into the game that Indian Creek was in for a test. On the tipoff, Braves arranged players near the Northview basket expecting Wiseman to win the tap over White, who is nearly a foot shorter at 5-foot-6.
This didn't come to fruition.
Wiseman swatted it back toward her bucket and White got a jump on it, intercepted it and finished a layup.
With 3:08 left in the first quarter, White attacked the heart of the Braves defense and found sophomore Brenna Stallcop for a triple on the right side and a 12-5 lead.
White and the Knights continued to look for steals and her theft and triple early in the second made it 17-10. A quick timeout prompted the players and bench to quickly celebrate on the floor.
The half ended on a high note for Northview with White driving and kicking to Stallcop for a buzzer-beating 3 in the right corner and a 24-17 edge.
The Braves made their push to command the game in the third frame and led 32-29 at the end of the frame.
With 1:30 left, Clarke spun in the lane and finished with her left hand for the Knights' last advantage of the game at 29-28.
The Knights return everyone next season except senior forward Brooklyn Eldridge.