News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

February 16, 2013

Northview wins Clay County tile despite Clay City's strong effort

TERRE HAUTE — By Steve Fields

Tribune-Star correspondent

 Brazil

On a Friday night when Northview High School honored its boys basketball sectional championship team, the Knights of 2013 recaptured some of their swagger.

Led by Ethan Whitson and Craig Peters, Northview won the Clay County championship with a 57-53 victory over the visiting Clay City Eels.

The 6-foot-5 Whitson scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Whitson was the biggest player on the court most of the night, but did hit inside and out, including two big 3-pointers in the Knights’ eighth win of the season.

Northview also got 12 points off the bench from Joe Ball, who hit four 3s, and 11 from Craig Peterson, who hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final 1:11 of play.

Clay City (12-8) was led by Blake Cesinger with 18 points and five steals, followed by Brandon Miller with 11 and Trevor Singer and Evan Rogers with 10 points each.

For Clay City, this game came down to free throws — missed free throws. The Eels were 13 of 24 from the free-throw line and missed three in the fourth quarter that could have tied the game.

From the opening tip the series that Northview owned until Clay City won last year was a true, physical and competitive county rivalry.

Northview, starting a smaller lineup, jumped out to a 10-5 when Peters stole the ball and scored a layup. But a steal and basket by Cesinger and back to back 3s by Rogers gave the Eels a 14-12 lead heading into the second quarter.

Northview took a 23-22 halftime lead when Joe Ball hit a 3 and Whitson and Christian Ellis dropped in four free throws in the second period.

The Knights took a 40-33 lead in the third period, when Peters ran down a long rebound and took it the length of the court for two. But a free throw from Clay City’s Miller and a 3 by Cesinger cut Northview’s lead to 40-37 going into the fourth period.

With 6:38 left in the game, Clay City’s Miller hit two free throws, Singer stepped into a 3 and Cesinger converted a steal into a three-point play that put the Eels ahead 45-44.

But Northview’s Ball responded with a 3 that put the Knights on top 47-45 to stay.

Clay City was never really out of range until the final buzzer sounded. Whitson stepped outside to hit a 3 that gave Northview a 53-48 lead with 2:10 to play.

But with 27 seconds left, Cesinger stole the ball and scored a layup that put the Eels within three, 56-53 of the Knights. But that was as close as the Eels got, as Peters closed senior night and his final game of the Northiew High School court with a free throw that set the final score.

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