Wolverines win season opener against North Knox
SWITZ CITY -- The Wolverines led most of the way, they saw North Knox tie the game, they sank free throws to win it.
White River Valley beat North Knox 39-36 to win its season opener. The Wolverines surprised and delighted their coaches after the game by shooting 17-20 (85 percent) for the contest.
“It’s always good to start the season with a win against a good 2A team,” said WRV coach Jimmy Beasley, Jr. “We’ll take it.”
He added that he was glad the Wolverines improved their performance at the charity stripe. “That’s never been a strong point for us.”
However, he said he was not so happy about the team’s defense, especially the fourth quarter which saw the Warriors score 14 points in the fourth quarter, 39 percent of their point output for the night. Beasley said the helpside defense was weak.
“I was actually more disappointed in our defense than in our offense,” Beasley said. “We did some uncharacteristic things.”
Dakota Sparks led the Wolverines with 12 points and Tanner Denham scored 10.
Keagan Thomas of North Knox led all scorers with 17 points.
The Wolverines led 10-9 after the first period as Sparks and Denham both scored two field goals.
Denham tossed in two field goals gain in the second quarter and the Wolverines shot 5-6 at the line to take a 20-16 halftime lead.
They seemed to take control of the game when they outscored the Warriors 11-6 in the third quarter. Three foul shots, two by Denham and one by Shaun Gibson, give WRV a 12-point lead, 34-22, with 5:46 left in the game.
Carter Shaw fed Reece Hammelman for a trey and sank four foul shots as the Warriors responded with a 9-0 run. Sparks ended WRV’s scoring drought with two foul shots, but Thomas buried two and nailed a trey to tie the game with about 56 ticks on the clock.
“We’ve never really played with a lead before,” Beasley said. “We’re inexperienced at that.”
He noted that Denham had to sit out part of the fourth quarter with foul trouble and that hurt the team’s ballhandling. “We kind of forced some passes we shouldn’t have passed.” The Wolverines defense weakened, Beasley said, and that was another reason for the comeback.
The teams swapped turnovers and Andrew Ellett sank two foul shots at the 18.6 mark. The Warriors lost the ball with 2.5 seconds to go when Brayden Thorne threw it away, and Dalton York added a free throw with only .9 seconds left, and WRV had a win in its first game.
Beasley said he was glad to see the Wolverines rally
“We’re still a young ball club,” the coach said. “I’m glad we were able to find a way to win at the end.”
North Knox defeated WRV 33-26 in the JV game. The Warriors took a 24-12 halftime lead, but WRV outscored the visitors 6-1 in the third quarter to get back in the game.
WRV scorers were: Joe Records, eight; Andrew Ellett, six; Addison Wall, five; Blaine Gilstrap and Trey Carpenter, three apiece; and Blaine Patterson, one.
The Wolverines next play this Saturday when they venture to the Riverton Parke Classic at 10:00 a.m.
“We’ll come back and fix somethings before Saturday,” Beasley said.
N. Knox 9 7 6 14 -- 36
WRV 10 10 11 8 -- 39
NORTH KNOX (36)
Shaw 2 4-6 8, DeCoursey 1 0-0 2, Blessinger 0 0-0 0, Lewis 1 0-0 3, Thorne 0 0-0 0, Thomas 6 2-2 17, Brocksmith 1 0-0 2, Hammelman 1 1-3 4, TEAM 12 7-11 36.
WHITE RIVER VALLEY (39)
Records 0 0-0 0 Sparks 4 4-4 12, York 2 2-4 6, Patterson 0 0-0 0, Ellett 1 4-4 6, Denham 4 2-2 10, Gibson 0 5-6 5, TEAM 11 17-20 39.
Three-Point Shooting: North Knox 5 (Thomas 3, Lewis 1, Hammelman 1), WRV 0. Fouls: North Knox 14, WRV 14.