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December 27, 2013

Northview uses size to get past South Vermillion

TERRE HAUTE — Northview used its most obvious advantage Friday afternoon to advance to the semifinals of the 14th annual Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic boys high school basketball tournament.

Using the size of 6-foot-6 Ethan Whitson, 6-6 Jim Mace and 6-6 Daniel Kimball, the Knights dominated the boards and overcame a quick trapping defense to beat South Vermillion 64-42 in Terre Haute North’s gym.

The Knights take a four-game winning streak into the 7 p.m. semifinal game with Terre Haute North, the last team to be them.

“Everybody is ready to go and ready to face who ever we face,” Whitson said.

With South Vermillion’s tallest player Logan Waldrop standing just 6-1, Northview dominated the rebounding 49-29 for the game with Mace pulling down 10 boards, Kimball 9 and Whitson 7.

And the Knights got the ball inside to Whitson for a game-high 25 points. Guard Dylan Hyatt scored 10 in the balanced attack.

“We had mismatches down low and we knew what we had to do is get it inside … and the guards did a great job of passing and getting me open,” Whitson said.

Northview coach Clint Weddle agreed.

“I would say our guards did a good job and Jim [Mace] as well, because he plays a lot of different roles for us,” Weddle said.

Jordan Branz was the only South Vermillion player to score in double figures with 11 points.

“I thought we played harder. I thought we played more inspired basketball than we did [Thursday in a victory over Riverton Parke]. I don’t think we played very smart today, but I think we’re getting closer to where we can play to our potential,” South Vermillion coach Michael Byrum said.

Both teams played aggressive, attacking basketball on both ends of the court from the opening tip.

“I thought [South Vermillion] came out [and] they were all over us. They did a great job of working to execute their gameplan. I thought they were very physical with us. I’m very happy with how we progressed through that. We made a lot of good choices early in the game,” Weddle said.

Whitson scored Northview’s first six points of the game and nine in the opening quarter. South Vermillion’s Logan Waldrop hit a 3 to cut the deficit to 13-11, but Northview put together a 7-2 run over the final three minutes of the first quarter and opening two minutes of the second.

The Knights took an 18-11 lead into the second quarter and boosted that to 24-13 when Whitson stole the ball and took it the length of the court for a layup with 5:52 on the clock.

Northview owned the boards 25-13 in the first half and South Vermillion was just 3 of 12 from 3-point range. The Knights took a 35-20 halftime lead.

Whitson scored eight points in the third quarter and Hyatt knocked down a 3, as Northview doubled the score 52-26 heading into the final eight minutes of the contest.

South Vermillion never quit coming at its Western Indiana Conference rival, but couldn’t get closer than 20 points down the stretch.

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