Third-quarter surge powers Springs Valley to win over North Daviess
By Auston Matricardi | Nov. 16, 2022 5:59 PM
The Springs Valley girls’ basketball team felt confident heading into its Tuesday-night matchup against North Daviess. The Blackhawks had fallen to Class 2A No. 1 Forest Park five days earlier, but with the Cougars coming to town following losses to Northeast Dubois and Wood Memorial it felt like a chance for Springs Valley to bounce back. Then the Cougars drained three 3-pointers in the first quarter to take a 13-12 lead. That hot start was a bit unexpected, especially from the perimeter, but ultimately it was something the ‘Hawks could weather. They recovered to outscore North Daviess in the second quarter, then used a 15-8 stretch in the third to blow the game open on the way to a 44-36 victory. “I think it put us back on our heels. I was surprised because I had watched a decent amount of film and didn’t see that the whole time. I saw those kids take some shots, but not hit them as well as they did tonight,” Springs Valley coach Marty Niehaus said. “North Daviess is a decent team, so I felt like we got shook up a little bit there to start, but we bounced back pretty well.” Part of the Blackhawk’s early struggles was their slow adjustment to North Daviess’ zone defense. The Cougars came out in a 2-3 and it took a bit for the Blackhawks to find their groove against it. They ultimately did though and it led to strong performances from the Springs Valley frontcourt. Maddie Carnes led the team with 11 points. “We really didn’t practice much against that. Obviously not as much as we should have,” Niehaus said. “I knew our older kids had experience against it and they’d be alright because it seemed like everybody we played last year ran a zone of one type or another and we had always executed well against it, but we had those younger kids out there and it took a little while to understand how to attack it. Once we did I thought we did a pretty good job of executing.” Macy Hall was also strong against North Daviess. The senior put up eight points efficiently, hitting three of her five shots from the field as well as a pair of free throws. She also had a team-high seven rebounds and two steals to help swing the game back in the Blackhawks’ favor. “I was really pleased with Macy Hall especially. She works so hard and on some nights she has a little trouble finishing, getting it in the bucket, but she did a great job tonight,” Niehaus said. “She hit some big buckets when we needed them, hit a free throw here or there.” Late in the game North Daviess broke out a press defense in an attempt to close the gap it was facing. At this early juncture, the press typically isn’t something that teams have faced very often and because of that it can be particularly effective. Rather than letting the pressure they faced speed them up and force mistakes, the Blackhawks kept their cool and operated well enough to survive the Cougars’ late push led by veterans like Hall, Buchanan, and Bella Shipman. “That was a good thing. Haven’t had a lot of practice against it, haven’t seen it much yet, and we had a little hiccup here and there but we mostly handled that pretty well,” Niehaus said. “It’s obviously something that we can get better at, but we did it well enough to handle what they just threw at us.” Springs Valley (3-1, 0-0 PLAC) got the bounce-back win it was searching for against North Daviess and now the Blackhawks will try to turn one W into a few. They’ll travel to Rock Creek Academy on Saturday and a win there could help push them closer to the top 10 in the Class 1A rankings after they received votes earlier this week. After that, they’ll finally open Patoka Lake Athletic Conference play with a matchup against Mitchell, whom they’ve beaten just once in five tries under Niehaus and three times in their last 10. “I think our biggest obstacle there first would be to be ready, be awake, be prepared to play, and be interested in playing. Sometimes when you go on a road trip and it’s not a rival, maybe our intensity or focus isn’t where it needs to be. I see that as being step one: being prepared for whatever Rock Creek throws at us,” Niehaus said. “Then Mitchell, it’s hard to believe but I haven’t beat Mitchell (but once) since I’ve been here at Valley. “This is a big game, you definitely want to get that first conference win and I told the kids to not really look ahead yet, but that’s something that we need to be focused on here as we get a little bit of practice over the rest of the week.” NORTH DAVIESS COUGARS 36 3P;AFG;FT;R;PF;Pts Lengacher, g;1-1;1-5;0-0;4;3;3 Dalrymple, g;1-5;1-5;0-0;1;1;3 Parisien, f;1-4;4-10;4-6;6;3;13 Zorman, f;2-4;4-11;4-4;2;3;14 Cornelius, c;0-0;0-2;0-0;0;2;0 Freed;1-2;1-2;0-0;0;4;3 Alderson;0-1;0-1;0-0;0;0;0 Byrer;0-0;0-0;0-0;0;0;0 Totals;5-19;11-36;6-17;13;16;36 Shooting;.263;.306;.353 SPRINGS VALLEY BLACKHAWKS 44 3P;AFG;FT;R;PF;Pts Buchanan, g;2-6;3-9;0-0;1;1;8 Eckerty, g;0-2;0-3;3-4;1;2;3 Shipman, f;0-0;0-2;1-2;3;1;1 Hall, f;0-0;3-5;2-7;7;2;8 Carnes, c;0-0;4-9;3-4;6;3;11 Bonta;1-2;1-2;0-0;1;1;3 McCormick;0-0;3-4;0-0;1;1;6 Allstott;0-0;1-3;2-2;1;0;4 Totals;3-10;15-37;11-19;21;11;44 Shooting;.300;.405;.579 North Daviess (2-3);13;6;8;9—36 Springs Valley (3-1);12;7;15;10—44 TO: Springs Valley 15, North Daviess 13.