HALL OF FAME
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Trio boosts Vikes past Archers
March 1, 2012Huntington North High School
Trio boosts Vikes past Archers AUSTAN KAS email@example.com | Thursday, March 1, 2012 The trio of Kalvin Miller, Levi Lawson and Noah Reed combined for all but seven of Huntington North’s points as the Vikings toppled Fort Wayne South, 60-50, Tuesday night in round one of the Class 4A Huntington North Sectional inside North Arena. “All the seniors said it coming in to the game: we weren’t going to lose,” said Lawson, one of four Viking seniors. “We knew we had it in us. We knew that we weren’t a four-win team. We know that we have the capability of winning the sectional. We showed that (Tuesday night). It wasn’t our best game, but we picked each other up and found a way to win.” Lawson was relentless for the Vikings, repeatedly shredding South Side’s zone from the inside and outside. He finished with game-highs in points (22) and rebounds (six), hitting 8 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 4 from the 3-point line. Reed netted 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and dished out four assists. Miller was 5 for 9 from the floor on his way to 15 points. Miller, Reed and Lawson combined to shoot 19 for 33 and score 53 points. The rest of the Vikes were 2 for 7 for seven points. The win — Huntington North’s second sectional victory since 2004 — advances the Vikings to Friday’s semifinals, where they’ll face off with ninth-ranked Homestead (20-2). The Spartans beat Huntington North, 85-71, in the season opener. “Once sectional comes around, I think records are all 0-0,” said Reed, a junior who has scored at least 16 points in five straight games. “Anything can happen at tournament time; anybody can beat anybody. Everybody in our locker room expects to come out and win the sectional, and I think we’re capable of doing that.” Huntington North (5-18) came out firing in the opening half and hit 5 of 11 from beyond the arc, repeatedly carving up South Side’s extended zone. The Vikings pieced together a 12-0 second-quarter run — with Lawson, Reed and Miller burying consecutive 3-pointers — and took a 30-19 edge into the break. At the start of the second half, the Vikes’ lead disappeared in a flash. South Side switched to a pressure-based 1-3-1 defense, and Huntington North committed four turnovers in the first two minutes of the third period. South Side (5-15) ripped off an 8-0 run and pulled the within 30-27. Huntington North regrouped and responded with a 9-0 spurt to seize a 12-point lead. Lawson fueled the rally with seven straight points. “South Side came out with a new 1-3-1, and I thought we got too antsy with the ball,” Reed said. “We were just trying to get rid of it. Coach called a timeout, and we settled down. We started making good passes. Every time we made good passes we got a layup.” Huntington North coach Aaron Cripe said it was a matter of making a few adjustments. “We came out in the first half ready to go,” Cripe said. “We were well-prepared for South Side. Things went like we thought they’d go. In the second half, South Side made some changes, and we had to adjust on the fly. The game got close, and the boys stepped up and rose to the occasion.” South Side inched within 43-40 with 6:28 to play, but the Vikings put the Archers away with one more critical run. Huntington North held South Side without a field goal for the next 3:57 and pulled away for good with an 8-1 spree. Reid Fawcett made a layup, Reed hit two buckets and Miller dropped in a basket off a Brock Gower assist. “When we needed to, we held on to the ball and were strong with the ball,” Cripe said. “We got the ball in the right places and were able to finish.” While Lawson was the driving force in the middle of the Vikings’ zone offense, he was aided by shrewd perimeter passing. Huntington North had 16 assists on 21 field goals, with Gower racking up seven helpers. “Our guards — Brock, Kalvin and Noah — did a great job getting Levi the ball in the middle of their zone,” Cripe said. “Levi did a good job finishing inside once he got it. He was really determined to score.” Both teams shot 53 percent for the game. Huntington North was 21 for 40 while South Side finished 20 of 38. The Vikes won the turnover battle, 16-11, and held a 12-5 edge in points from the free-throw line. Cripe made mention of Huntington North’s student section, which was out in full force. “It’s always an advantage to play at home,” Cripe said. “To have the students come out like they did with it being a Tuesday night, a school night, was really great to see. They were a sixth man for us.” In the other first-round matchup between two teams who entered with identical 17-3 records, Jay County manhandled New Haven, 49-36. The Bulldogs led 23-18 at the half but scored just 13 second-half points as the Patriots took over. V.J. Beachem, New Haven’s star and a Notre Dame commit, missed 14 of his 17 shots. Only four Patriots scored in the game but all four had at least eight points. Jay County plays Fort Wayne Wayne at 6 p.m. Friday, with Huntington North and Homestead taking the floor immediately after. The championship is slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.