HALL OF FAME
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
HNHS upset bid falls short
February 27, 2012Huntington North High School
HNHS upset bid falls short
AUSTAN KAS email@example.com | Sunday, February 26, 2012
Huntington North's Trenton Kern deflects the pass attempt of Norwell's Kyle Fillman during Friday night's contest.
OSSIAN — On the first possession of the game, Kyle Fillman, Norwell’s 6-foot-7 forward, got a rebound off his own missed layup. He proceeded to do that two more times before finally, on his fourth try, getting one to fall.
The sequence was a sign of things to come.
Fillman finished with 19 points and an eye-popping 18 rebounds — 10 of which came on the offensive end — and the Class 3A No. 4 Knights used a game-ending 11-1 run to spoil Huntington North’s upset bid and top the Vikings, 65-52, Friday night at Norwell.
The game was much tighter than the final score indicates. The two teams were tied at the half, and the Vikes (4-18) trailed by just two with 4:04 to play. But Norwell (18-2) took it to another level down the stretch.
It was another story of almost for Huntington North, who has been right there in five of its past six losses only to come up short each time.
“We have to execute,” Huntington North coach Aaron Cripe said. “... We played relaxed in the first half, and we tightened up a little in the second half.”
Noah Reed led the Vikes with 17 points, four assists and four rebounds. Reed — who hit 3 of 5 from beyond the arc — has scored at least 17 points in four straight games and is averaging 20.5 points during that stretch.
Levi Lawson and Kalvin Miller added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Trenton Kern tossed in eight points.
Garrett Bucher and Josh VanMeter netted 14 points apiece for Norwell, who has won 11 of its past 12 games. VanMeter nailed three 3-pointers, snagged four rebounds and dished out four assists. Caleb Featherston finished with eight points.
The Vikes got five 3-pointers from four different players in a back-and-forth first half. Miller scored eight of his 11 points in the opening frame, and the two teams went into intermission knotted at 30.
“That was one of the smartest halves we’ve played all year,” said Cripe. “We took good shots and had the right people taking shots. We played unselfish. I was glad to be tied at halftime.”
With Huntington North in front 38-36 midway through the third, Norwell strung together a 9-0 spurt and closed the stanza on a 15-4 run to take a 51-42 cushion into the fourth period. Fillman, who was two boards shy of Huntington’s team total, fueled the spree with seven points.
Spearheaded by Reed, the Vikes battled back in the final stanza. The junior guard caught fire and blitzed the Knights with seven straight points. He hit a mid-range jumper, buried a 3-pointer and sliced through the defense for a twisting layup.
Reed’s 7-0 run pulled Huntington North within 51-49 with 4:04 to play and prompted a timeout from Norwell coach Randy Hawkins.
Following the stoppage, Norwell’s David Vogel drained a 3-pointer — his only bucket of the game — to push the Knights in front by five. Reed answered with a jumper, but Norwell clamped down and held Huntington North to one point over the game’s final 3:21, sealing the victory with an 11-1 tear.
“It was all about refocusing,” Hawkins said of the Knights’ timeout. “We missed some free throws and did some things we normally don’t do. We just needed to refocus and settle down.”
Huntington North begins sectional play Tuesday with a home game against Fort Wayne South. The Archers and Vikes take the floor after Jay County and New Haven tangle in the 6 p.m. opener.
Junior Varsity: Huntington North lost the junior varsity contest, 38-33. Matt Hogan had 16 points and Caleb Landrum added 12. The Vikes end the year with a 10-10 record.