Norwell Defends The Castle against Huntington North
The Lady Knights held off the Vikings for the win 45-35
By The Den's Mike Rice
Following two hard fought losses from Homestead (46-34) and Bishop Luers (51-46), the Huntington North Lady Vikings took the road Friday night, hungry to jump back into the win column.
Standing in their way was, yet another, northeast Indiana powerhouse.
The 3A 4th ranked Norwell Lady Knights entered Friday night’s tilt having won five straight games, since and early season loss to Warsaw.
After Norwell’s Maiah Shelton opened the scoring with a three ball on the Lady Knight’s first possession of the game, Shelton’s teammates Mackinzie Toliver and Kaylee Fuelling followed with three pointers of their own, pushing Norwell to an early 9-0 lead.
A Reece Colclesser three pointer broke the ice for the Lady Vikings, making it 9 to 3, as the visitors looked to rally.
After a 4-point run by the Lady Knights pushed the lead to ten, Leah Campbell’s coast to coast drive, resulting in two points from the charity stripe, had Huntington North back within eight points, 13-5.
Shelton would strike again, however, as the junior drained a deep three in the closing minute of the quarter.
Shelton’s seven first quarter points had Norwell up 16-5 at the first intermission.
The second stanza saw Colclesser team up with fellow Lady Vikings Addy Wiley, Grace Sell, Katelynn Arnold, Chloe Kauffman and Meg McDonald to jump start the Huntington North scoring, as all six players found the bottom of net, totaling 12 points
Not to be outdone, Fuelling and Shelton continued their hot hands, scoring nine combined points in the period. Aided by a Lauren Bales free throw, Norwell survived Huntington’s second period offensive surge still leading by nine points, 26- 17.
Exiting the halftime break in search of a spark, the Lady Vikings found it.
Fueled by an offensive rebound, leading to an old fashioned three-point play by Wiley and 8 minutes of stifling defense, Huntington North began chipping away at the deficit.
A three pointer from Bales would account for Norwell’s only points of the period, as the Lady Vikings fought back to within just two points, 29-27.
In an act of déjà vu, Shelton’s three pointer, on the fourth quarter’s opening possession, nudged the Norwell lead to five points.
Two free throws from Breann Barger, with just over five minutes to play, put Norwell up 36 to 27, as it looked like Norwell might pull away.
Huntington North had other plans, as a quick answer from Sell brought the deficit back down to 7.
A Barger three pointer continued the back and forth, driving the Norwell lead to ten points, 39-29.
The two teams exchanged baskets over the final minutes, culminating in a Wiley 3 pointer, bringing the final score to Norwell 45 – Huntington North 35.
Campbell led Huntington North with 9 points and Wiley added 7, while Colclesser and Sell each had 5
Shelton totaled 17 points for Norwell, with Fuelling tallying 12, followed by Barger and Bales, both with 5.
Junior Varsity – Huntington North rallied from a 20-12 halftime deficit to emerge with 27-23 victory.