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Historic season comes to an end for Vikings

PASS: Senior guard Zach Daugherty looks to make a pass past Zionsville’s Isaiah Thompson during the Vikings’ 52–41 Regional loss to the Eagles on Saturday afternoon.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Huntington North boys basketball team’s historic 2018–19 season came to a close on Saturday afternoon, as the 12th-ranked Vikings fell 52–41 to No. 7 Zionsville in the Regional semifinal in the Berry Bowl in Logansport, Indiana.

With the loss, Huntington North’s season record fell to a finishing mark of 22–5. The 22 victories accumulated by the Vikings throughout the campaign established a new program record for wins in a season. The game also marked the Vikings’ first trip to the Regional level of the postseason since 2001.

The Huntington North offense got out to a quick start thanks to senior guard Trey Williams burying a pair of three-pointers in the first few minutes of action to carry the Vikings to an early 6–5 lead, much to the delight of an overwhelmingly pro-Viking crowd.

However, Zionsville and Purdue commit Isaiah Thompson quickly put any question of a barn-burner upset to rest by stringing together an 8–0 run late in the first quarter to take a 13–6 lead.

The teams exchanged a basket apiece the rest of the period, with the Eagles holding a 15–8 advantage after the first quarter of play.

Thompson again asserted his dominance throughout the second frame, helping Zionsville to an 11–7 second quarter to take a 26–15 lead into halftime. Thompson led all players in the game with 18 points in the first half, a dozen more than the next-highest scorer.

“I think at halftime, unofficially, we had them for eight points off our turnovers and three points off an (offensive rebound),” said head coach Craig Teagle. “We were down 11 (at halftime). Those are the things we knew we couldn’t do because they’re such a good basketball team.”

Despite trailing by 11 points at the break, the Vikings were not ready to pack it in and call it a year just yet. Huntington North came out red hot to start the third quarter, opening the period on a 7–2 run to cut their deficit to just six points at 28–22 in favor of the Eagles.

However, Zionsville managed to stop the bleeding en route to outscoring the Vikings 13–7 the rest of the period to carry a 41–29 lead into the final quarter of play.

For the first time of the day, Huntington North outscored the Eagles in a quarter, edging Zionsville 12–11 in the final eight minutes, but the comeback bid proved to come up short, as the Eagles ended the Vikings’ season with a 52–41 decision.

“I thought we played extremely hard, we just made too many mistakes and against really good teams, you can’t make them,” Teagle said. “We gave up (10) offensive rebounds. You can’t do that. And we didn’t turn it over a lot, but every turnover seemed like it created points for them.”

Senior forward Sawyer Stoltz led Huntington North with 12 points in the loss, adding three rebounds and one block.

Senior guard Zach Daugherty finished his Viking basketball career with a nine-point outing, all coming from beyond the arc. Daugherty also tacked on three assists to his stat line.

Senior forward Hank Pulver and senior guard Trey Williams each capped off their high school basketball careers with six points. Pulver added three rebounds, one assist, a team-high two steals and a game-high two blocks, while Williams rounded out his day with one rebound and a trio of helpers, tying Daugherty for the team lead and game high.

Senior guard Keegan Bartrom and sophomore guard Sam Thompson each buried a triple apiece, while senior guard Brett Kaylor finished the Huntington North scoring with two points.

While not scoring, sophomore forward Mitchell Gerber, junior forward Jordan Hollowell, junior guard Deven Newcomb, senior forward Garrett Trout and senior guard Adam Zahn all saw playing time for the Vikings.

After draining 18 points in the first half, Thompson finished his outing with a game-best 24 points, nine of which came from the free throw line.

Thompson also posted three assists to tie Daugherty and Williams for the game high and grabbed one rebound and two steals in nearly 31 minutes of action for the Eagles.

“All three of (Thompson’s) threes were contested with a hand on the ball,” Teagle said. “In fact, I think Deven touched the one that was out here in front of me. I don’t see what else you can do. That’s why he’s going to Purdue. … He’s a great player and he’s going to have an outstanding college career.”

Ben Weidner sank 10 points for Zionsville, while Nathan Childress filled the stat sheet with eight points, a game-high nine rebounds, two assists, one block and a game-best three steals while tying Thompson for the game lead in playing time with 30:57.

Brandon Vernon, Hogan Orbaugh and Anthony Scales completed the scoring for the Eagles with six, two and two points, respectively.

Zionsville clearly used their size and strength to their advantage throughout the game, hauling in 24 rebounds to Huntington North’s 13, including reeling in 10 offensive rebounds.

“I liked how we competed, but I think it was obvious physically we weren’t strong enough,” Teagle said. “We got knocked off a lot of basketballs that we were both there and they were just stronger than us. They stripped us a few times going to the rim and then almost every loose ball it seems like they just outbattled, and not because of lack of effort, (but) because physically they were stronger than us.”

The victory sent the Eagles to the Regional championship game against top-ranked Carmel.

Despite coming out on the losing side on Saturday, the Vikings’ season was nothing short of an overwhelming success and is one that will not soon fade from memory in Huntington.

“(The experience has been) unbelievable,” Teagle said. “This team (has) been awesome. I’ve loved these kids for four years. Not only are they good basketball players, they’re just good people. They’re great and they’re classy. They showed a lot of poise and toughness late in the year, and even when we got down today, I thought we kept battling. (It) just wasn’t meant to be today. They were the better basketball team. But, I’ve enjoyed (our team). My hat (is) off especially to an Adam Zahn and a Garrett Trout that didn’t get on the floor as much, but came in every day, practiced as hard as they could and made us better. That’s outstanding. But, the whole group (has) been great. I really appreciate everything they’ve done for Huntington North basketball and I hope the young kids know they (have) role models and they want to go out and work on their skills and get better now. It’s been a great group and I’m going to miss them.”

Huntington North Vikings vs. Zionsville Eagles

3/9/2019 at Logansport Regional

Huntington North 41, Zionsville 52

Huntington North

Sawyer Stoltz 3–4, 6–7, 12; Zach Daugherty 3–9, 0–0, 9; Hank Pulver 2–7, 2–4, 6; Trey Williams 2–4, 0–0, 6; Keegan Bartrom 1–2, 0–0, 3; Sam Thompson 1–1, 0–0, 3; Brett Kaylor 0–0, 2–3, 2; Deven Newcomb 0–1, 0–0, 0; Adam Zahn 0–0, 0–0, 0; Mitchell Gerber 0–0, 0–0, 0; Garrett Trout 0–0, 0–0, 0; Jordan Hollowell 0–0, 0–0, 0; Totals 12–28, 10–14, 41.

Zionsville

Isaiah Thompson 6–15, 9–10, 24; Ben Weidner 3–3, 2–2, 10; Nathan Childress 3–9, 2–2, 8; Brandon Vernon 2–4, 0–0, 6; Anthony Scales 0–0, 2–3, 2; Hogan Orbaugh 1–2, 0–0, 2; Jake Ritter 0–0, 0–0, 0; Dylan Ritter 0–0, 0–0, 0; Isaiah Davis 0–0, 0–0, 0; Cameron Haffner 0–0, 0–0, 0; Ben Alcock 0–0, 0–0, 0; Gunnar Vannatta 0–0, 0–0, 0; Totals 15–33, 15–17, 52.

Huntington North 8 7 14 12 - 41

Zionsville 15 11 15 11 - 52

Three-point goals: Huntington North 7–19 (Zach Daugherty 3–8; Trey Williams 2–4; Keegan Bartrom 1–2; Sam Thompson 1–1; Deven Newcomb 0–1; Hank Pulver 0–3), Zionsville 7–17 (Isaiah Thompson 3–9; Ben Weidner 2–2; Brandon Vernon 2–4; Nathan Childress 0–1; Hogan Orbaugh 0–1). Fouled out: Huntington North None, Zionsville None. Rebounds: Huntington North 13 (Hank Pulver 3; Sawyer Stoltz 3), Zionsville 24 (Nathan Childress 9). Assists: Huntington North 10 (Trey Williams 3; Zach Daugherty 3), Zionsville 7 (Isaiah Thompson 3). Total Fouls: Huntington North 12, Zionsville 16.