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Posted On: 02/10/18 12:12 PM
Final Score: Norwell 40 – Huntington North 49
The Knights and Vikings both got off to slow starts last night. In a conference that has been up and down throughout the year, these two teams had some good wins under their belts but also some tough losses. Huntington North starts three players at 6’6” or better and Norwell only had one player at that stature. At the end of the first quarter, Huntington lead 10 – 9 with all of their scoring coming from Geller, Pulver, and Stoltz. Norwell struggled in the second quarter as they sent their star sophomore to the bench with two early fouls. Their offense couldn’t get on track but they were able to keep themselves within striking distance with their effort on the defensive end. Norwell trailed 22 – 14 heading to the halftime break.
Will Geiger came out of the half ready to get after it and bring his team back into the game. He was aggressive going to the basket throughout the game and really left his mark on the defensive end as well. Norwell had a breakout third quarter and brought themselves within three by the end of the third quarter. The Vikings lead was now 31 – 28.
The final score doesn’t do this game justice in how close it was in the waning minutes. With a minute to go, it was still a three-point ball game but the Knights had to start fouling to get the ball back and Huntington North stepped to the line and knocked down their free-throws. The Viking defense stepped up and got stops down the line to help seal the deal and come away with a much needed NE8 Conference win. Huntington North 49 – Norwell 40.
Mitchell Geller was outstanding in last night’s contest. At 6’7”, he sees the court extremely well – partially due to being a guard until a recent growth spurt, and was able to impact the game in almost every category. He has a soft touch around the rim and is great at handling the ball in the post and making the correct decisions. Geller moves well without the ball and can finish around the rim with both hands at a high level. Mitchell finished with a game-high 15 points (5-7 2FG and 5-6 FT), a game-tying-high 10 rebounds (7 defensive and 3 offensive), and 5 assists. His second half really helped fend off the run that Norwell was making. Geller is hearing from schools at the NAIA and DII levels and would be a great, late addition to a lot of programs.
Hank Pulver was consistent last night. He made winning play after winning play and was an all-around contributor for the Vikings last night. His performance slid under the radar as Geller, Stoltz, and Hank all put together solid games. Hank finished with 11 points (4-4 2FG and 3-4 FT), 5 rebounds (3 offensive and 2 defensive), 3 assists, and 2 steals. He showed his ability to see the floor during the third quarter with a few passes to a cutting Geller that had the gym electric. Hank knows when to attack the basket and when to make the pass to an open teammate. His basketball IQ was on display last night with his efficient shooting and complete performance.
Sawyer Stoltz rounds out the three towers that Huntington North starts and relies on. Stoltz, Pulver, and Geller can all knock down the long ball efficiently, score around the mid-range off the bounce, and score with their back to the basket. Stoltz is a dynamic offensive threat for the Vikings but struggled to get it going offensively aside from getting to the free-throw line. Sawyer finished with 9 points (1-6 2FG, 1-2 3FG, and 4-6 FT), 5 rebounds (3 defensive and 2 offensive), and a game-high 4 blocks. His off-ball defensive rotations were perfectly timed as he came over from the weak side to block shot after shot. His impact was felt on the defensive end and deterred the Knights from going to the basket.
Zachary Daugherty is a sound point guard who takes care of the ball and takes pride in his defense. He wasn’t able to get it going from deep but he also didn’t turn the ball over in tough situations. His ability to be composed and make the right pass at the right time is something that has helped lead this Huntington North team to a 15-5 record this year. Daugherty finished with 6 points (1-3 2FG, 0-3 3FG, and 4-5 FT), 1 defensive rebound, 3 steals, 2 assists, and 1 block.
Will Geiger impressed not only with his play on the court, but the way that he carries himself. Geiger helped opposing players off the floor, chased down loose balls to keep the game moving, thanked fans for their support when he dove into the crowd, and didn’t react when he was faced with tough calls. Geiger’s aggression and non-stop work ethic are apparent in his game. He goes after every rebound and is always in the mix for loose balls. His energy and enthusiasm for the game helped keep Norwell in the game in the second half. Will finished with a team-high 14 points (4-8 2FG, 1-2 3FG, and 3-3 FT), a game-tying-high 10 rebounds (6 offensive and 4 defensive), a game-high 4 steals, 3 assists, and 1 block. Although he didn’t get much time in the second quarter due to two early fouls, he put together a complete game and never gave in. His resilience wore off on his teammates as they bought in on the defensive end to help keep them in the ball game.
Brandon Nicholson shouldered some of the offensive load when Geiger had to sit with his foul trouble. Nicholson finished with 9 points (4-8 2FG and 1-2 FT), 4 rebounds (2 defensive and 2 offensive), and 2 assists. He had a tough task on defense with the size that Huntington North has but he held his ground and put up a good offensive game as well. His footwork has greatly improved in the past year and he’s starting to be more aggressive around the basket when he gets post touches. Brandon uses his wide frame well to get his shots off in traffic against longer, more athletic players. His awareness of his positioning last night gave him a few easy put back baskets on offensive rebounds.
Cole Wilson is the unspoken senior leader for the young Norwell Knights. He attacks well of the wing and is more effective as a slasher than a shooter. Wilson and the Knights currently sit at 10-9 on the season with a signature win against Leo. Cole creates a lot of the offensive movement and has developed a chemistry with Geiger. He finished with 7 points (2-2 2FG and 1-4 3FG), 1 defensive rebound, and 1 steal. He struggled to get into the flow of the game as the length of the Huntington defense bothered him and closed down lanes that are usually there for him. Wilson is a key contributor for this team and will be instrumental as they look to get hot heading into the post season.