It shouldn’t have been so easy.
Northview’s Knights had plenty of things that could have gone wrong in high school volleyball at the Class 3A Edgewood Sectional on Saturday, among them playing a revenge-minded home team on its own court and, after that task had been completed, facing the championship game without one of their key performers against a tall, experienced team that came in with a 21-6 record.
The results? A 27-25, 25-17, 25-13 win over Edgewood in the morning and a 25-14, 25-12, 25-13 win over Brown County in the title game that, with all due respect to a gritty Eagles team that battled hard, wasn’t nearly as close as those scores indicated.
Maybe it was because it was the coach’s birthday.
“Best birthday present I ever had,” Scott McDonald said after the championship match, and after a serenade from the considerable Northview crowd. “I’ve won seven sectionals, five in baseball and two in volleyball, but this is the first one I’ve been able to share with my daughter [Madison McDonald, a sophomore, is one of many stellar Knights], and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
The Knights weren’t perfect Saturday, and there are some teams that might have worried about a tendency to allow its opponent to get back into games that should have been over sooner -- such as when Northview turned a 20-11 lead into a 25-24 deficit before winning the first game against Edgewood.
Northview isn’t a team that tends to worry, however.
“You’re going to give up a few runs,” coach McDonald said after the championship match, “but we were pretty well in control the entire day.”
“There were times when we didn’t show who we were,” senior hitter Shelbi Morris admitted, “but we were able to work through it.
“We always get out of our ruts.”
Indeed, when an opponent shows any sign of gaining some traction against the Knights, they respond emphatically. Morris and Morgan Stearley were both adept Saturday night at coming up with momentum-killing blasts against the Eagles.
And when the Knights got momentum, their runs lasted a lot longer.
Brown County stayed relatively close early -- within 5-4, then 8-5, then 12-8 in the first game. Then Kenzi Kumpf stepped to the service line and put the match out of reach with eight straight points, three of them aces.
The second game was never close, Northview taking leads of 16-5 and 18-6. The Eagles rallied with five straight points, only to see the Knights answer with six in a row.
And if the point hadn’t been made by that time, Morris served nine straight points in the third game to open an 18-5 bulge.
All according to plan, the coach said.
“We had good passing, big hits and we served very well,” coach McDonald pointed out. “Our defense was phenomenal; we got so many touches [at the net] and were able to transition those into offense.”
“I think we played well,” summarized setter Taylor Hess. “It took a lot of hard work.”
Hess realizes, she said, that her team situation is a good one.
“My hitters are fantastic,” she said. “We even have options in the back row ... and Mac [coach McDonald] really works with us and tells us what we can do to throw the other team off.”
Morris said after the championship match that her only regret was being unable to celebrate it with longtime teammate Audrey Clark. The Northview libero had a family obligation that forced her to miss the night game.
“I cannot tell you how amazing she is, and it’s sad we’re not able to share this moment,” Morris said of her fellow senior.
“We’ve been planning for [Clark’s absence],” coach McDonald said. Audrey and Ashley [Heck] have been alternating at libero all year.”
The Knights are on the road at Shelbyville for Tuesday’s regional match, but will take time to enjoy their first sectional championship in four years.
“An awesome day,” the coach said.
“I’m not gonna sleep tonight; I don’t know about the other girls,” Morris promised, “but it’s back in the gym Monday.”
Northview 27 25 25
Edgewood 25 17 13
Highlights — For Northview, Taylor Hess had 29 assists, a dig, a kill and 2 aces; Kenzi Kumpf 10 kills, 2 digs, a block and an ace; Morgan Stearley 9 kills, 2 blocks and an ace; Shelbi Morris 8 kills, 2 digs, a block and an ace; Madison McDonald 4 kills, a block, a dig and 2 aces; Mikayla Rowan 4 blocks, 3 kills and an assist; Audrey Clark 6 digs; and Ashley Heck 2 assists and 2 digs.
Northview 25 25 25
Brown County 14 12 13
Highlights — For Northview, Hess had 28 assists, 7 digs, 3 kills, 6 points and 2 aces; Kumpf 5 kills, 4 digs, 22 points and 5 aces; McDonald 10 digs, 7 kills, 4 assists, a block, 7 points and 4 aces; Morris 11 kills, a block, a dig, an assist, 12 points and 3 aces; Stearley 9 kills, 3 blocks, a dig and a point; Heck 7 digs, 2 assists and 2 points; and Lindsey Potter a dig.
For Brown County, which advanced to the championship game with a 3-1 win over Owen Valley earlier in the day, Brianna Harper had 16 assists, 3 points and an ace; Lizzie Jackson 8 kills and a point; Maddison Taylor an assist, 5 points and 3 aces; Morgan Wray 5 kills; Carly Williams 4 kills and a block; Alaina Glidden 3 kills and a block; Emily Brady 2 assists and 2 points; Cheyenne Ellis an assist and 2 points; Harley Rogers 2 points and an ace; and Tanner Chapman a kill.
Next — Northview (33-3, setting a school record for wins in the Edgewood game) plays Tuesday against host Shelbyville (15-18) Brown County finished 21-7.
It shouldn’t have been so easy.
- High School
North gets past Knights in boys basketball
With a huge size advantage on the program roster, you wouldn’t need to be Dr. James Naismith to figure out Northview’s strategy Tuesday night against a much shorter Terre Haute North team in boys high school basketball.
Pound the ball inside.
That plan worked well early on, as the visiting Knights bolted out of the gates to an early advantage.
The Patriots hung tough, though, and thanks to some clutch play off the bench from Braxton Poore and Andrew Farmer in the second quarter, delivered a knockout punch from which Northview could never recover.
North used a balanced scoring attack and an almost flawless floor game to record an easier-than-expected 68-43 victory.
Vikings prevail over South Vermillion
Hayden Corenflos was not the tallest player on the court Tuesday night, but he was always close to the rim while leading West Vigo to a 50-36 victory over visiting South Vermillion in boys high school basketball inside the Green Dome.
Corenflos scored 21 points without taking a shot from outside the lane in the Vikings’ second win of the season.
Prep basketball: Kinnaman knocks down 21 as Sullivan defeats Shakamak
Sullivan led most of the way in high school boys basketball Tuesday night to win its second game of the season, defeating Shakamak 77-44.
The Arrows used a 5-0 run to take a 9-4 lead and had a 17-9 advantage after one period. They led 36-20 at the intermission and took a 52-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
Metro: Indiana Hall of Fame lauds two Wabash Valley athletes
Two players from the Wabash Valley have been named members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team that will be honored in March. Tony McGee and Kenny Rowan are members of the honor team.
Today’s prep basketball games
Northview is at Terre Haute South and South Vermillion is at West Vigo
West Vigo shows its youth in loss to Owen Valley
It was a game that confirmed his fears, coach Joe Boehler said Saturday night after his West Vigo team lost 67-51 in its Western Indiana Conference boys basketball opener to visiting Owen Valley.
“I think our young team showed up tonight,” Boehler said. “We did not handle success very well.”
Terre Haute South can't match 'great' Mooresville team
Terre Haute South did very little right Saturday night at Mooresville, while the host Pioneers did very little wrong in an 89-54 victory over the visiting Braves.
Rady passes Sharpe to move into second on all-time victory list
Cloverdale coach Pat Rady, who resides in Terre Haute, climbed to No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list for boys high school basketball Saturday morning when his Clovers got past host Greencastle 60-56 in the semifinals of the Putnam County Classic tournament in McAnally Center.
Consistent effort helps Terre Haute North hold off Robinson
After falling behind 14-2 after one quarter, Robinson’s Maroons bounced back to make it a game at Terre Haute North on Saturday night.
The Maroons cut the gap to 39-33 late in the third quarter, but a crucial turnover led to a 3-pointer by North and the Patriots went on a 65-50 win.
South girls fall to Indy North Central 67-46
Indianapolis North Central used 3-point shooting and defense to prevail in Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference girls high school basketball Saturday, defeating Terre Haute South 67-46.
The Panthers got off to an 8-0 start in the early-afternoon contest played in the South gym and outscored the Braves 20-9 in the final frame to get even for the season at 3-3 and even in the conference at 1-1.
Sister act: Elkins pair have helped West Vigo get off to 4-1 start
Heading into tonight’s home game against Owen Valley, the West Vigo girls basketball team is one win from equaling last season’s total for victories. The 4-1 Vikings are led by post players and sister duo Lexus and Shyanne Elkins.
Rady could break tie with Sharpe today
Longtime boys basketball coach Pat Rady has a chance to pass the legendary Howard Sharpe for No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list today when his Cloverdale Clovers play Greencastle at 10 a.m. in the first game of the postponed Putnam County Classic at Greencastle.
New dates when available
- Vigo County basketball matchups
Study looks at effects of concussions
Austen Cummings sits in class and can’t remember what he’s supposed to focus on. He doesn’t have a learning disability or an attention disorder. The Homestead High School sophomore suffered two concussions in the span of two months while playing football. The concussions have caused Cummings to blank out in class, at times for almost a half-hour.
Even high-rated helmets may not protect players
Two studies this year highlight the tough choices and conflicting information that parents and coaches face when trying to protect football players from head trauma.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo girls basketball cruises past Sullivan
Lexus Elkins poured in 15 points, Shyanne Elkins contributed 13 and McKenzie Little added 11 to lead the host Vikings over Sullivan 57-40 in Western Indiana Conference action Tuesday night inside the Green Dome.
Terre Haute South girls hold off Northview's surge
A funny thing happened on the way to a Terre Haute South blowout victory Tuesday night at Northview High School. The Knights fought back and nearly pulled out a win.
Three-point baskets by Kennedy Williams and Lauren Perrelle and free throws by Kylie Fendrick and Lauren Hambrock preserved a 53-50 win for the Braves over the Knight.
Casey beats Terre Haute South with last-second layup
On many nights during this high school basketball season, the shots are going to fall for both Casey and Terre Haute South and both teams are going to look really good.
Tuesday was not one of those nights.
Former North Central inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
Thirteen men will become official members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame when they are inducted into the Hoops Hall at the annual dinner in March.
Matchups set for wide-open Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic field
Sometimes the ping-pong balls used to draw the high school basketball pairings for the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic have a wisdom all their own, and that seemed to be the case Tuesday at Terre Haute North.
Metro sports: ISU women play today at No. 15 LSU
Indiana State’s women finish a three-game road swing by playing nationally ranked LSU at 12:30 p.m. today at Baton Rouge.
Tonight’s prep basketball
Casey at Terre Haute South
PREP ROUNDUP: North Central falls at home to Eastern Greene
Eastern Greene’s Camden Sego popped in 18 points to lead to a 67-42 home loss for North Central in SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference boys high school basketball Saturday night.
Bertoli runs personal-best time to qualify for Foot Locker national championships
Reigning IHSAA state champion Jackson Bertoli, a senior at Terre Haute South High School, accomplished a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 14 seconds as he finished fifth in the Foot Locker Midwest Regional Championships for cross country Saturday morning at Wayne E. Dannehl Course.
New excitement: Opportunity to swim in new pool in near future has Vigo County athletes ecstatic
As excited as Mike Williams is about the start of the Terre Haute North High School swim season today, he’s just as excited that one of its circumstances won’t have to be repeated a couple of years from now.
Prep/Metro roundup: Marshall girls pick up big wins at Robinson
Marshall’s Lions got a huge girls high school basketball victory Friday afternoon at the Robinson Thanksgiving Tournament, downing Mt. Carmel and 2013 Illinois Miss Basketball Tyra Buss 57-53.
Today’s Vigo County boys basketball game
Terre Haute North at Lebanon
West Vigo boys rally to pull out season-opening OT victory
A season-opening high school boys basketball game at West Vigo on Wednesday night was as much about when the players did things as it was what they did.
Visiting North Vermillion seemed to have a close game under control the entire way because every time the host team made a run, Falcon star Brayden Woodard was there to answer.
Although West Vigo was never ahead in the last 28 minutes of regulation time, the Vikings got a game-tying 3-pointer from Alec Blair with 6.3 seconds left and pulled out a 47-46 victory on Braiden Cardinal’s driving layup with 10 seconds left in overtime.
Clay City hits 13 first-half treys in downing Wildcats
Clay City junior Evan Rogers hit his first 3-pointer of the night 45 seconds into the season opener at South Vermillion.
By the time another 2 minutes, 15 seconds passed on the scoreboard, he had hit a fifth 3-pointer, putting his Eels ahead 17-2.
Heat check? That time had already passed.
Rogers hit a sixth 3-pointer to put the Eels up 25-4 then finally missed one with 2:20 on the first-quarter clock.
- More High School Headlines
- North gets past Knights in boys basketball