By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — Flu season is winding down, but Washington Catholic can’t seem to get over the turnover bug as the Cardinals were defeated by North Knox, 61-39, at the Bird Cage on Thursday.
The Cardinals (2-15. 1-6 Blue Chip) committed 19 turnovers that turned into several easy North Knox (7-12, 3-3) buckets. This is the second time the Blue Chip mates have met. The Warriors defeated WC, 48-35, in the Toyota Classic.
The turnovers, coach John Howell said, were a big reason for the lopsided margin.
“Turnovers really hurt us,” Howell said. “We had 11 at the half, and they scored a lot of points off the turnovers.”
WC had trouble early, unable to get inside on the larger Warriors. Outside shooting also became a problem, and North Knox’s Jordan Meurer had 11 of his 18 points in the first quarter to jump the Warriors out in front, 19-8.
The Cardinals, led by senior Colton Reed, kept up with North Knox in the second. Reed hit four of his team-high 11 points in the second frame. Sophomore Jonathan Mitchell found a three from the corner to keep the Warriors within striking distance.
Howell said the Cardinals had trouble matching up with the Warriors.
“Defense was an issue. We couldn’t find an answer tonight,” Howell said. “We tried man. They got by us. We went zone. We didn’t rebound well.”
WC was able to keep up again after halftime. This time by TJ Hill, who found several transition layups after WC stops on defense. Hill scored five of his nine points in the third.
“When we stop, we can get out and run a little bit,” Howell said. “The problem is offensive rebounds and putbacks. We like to get out and run but in order to do that, you have to get stops on the defensive end.”
North Knox’s Christopher Graman hammered the nails in WC’s coffin in the final stanza with seven of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter. Graman was hot from the field, hitting one three from way deep. While Hill and Reed worked hard for points, they found little.
“Offensively, I think we did some good things tonight,” Howell said. “We got the ball inside, flashed into the middle against their stuff, but we haven’t been shooting the ball outside real consistently.”
Mitchell ended up with six points on the night, followed by Ethan Wichman with five, Christian Neace with three points and Brendan Purdue had a bucket.
North Knox had contributions from Jake Alsman with eight points, Jacob Burress had six, Cole Bond scored five and Mark Martin scored four points.
In the JV contest, North Knox defeated WC 27-20. Wichman scored seven points in the game.
WC takes the weekend off for girls sectional and travels to Loogootee on Tuesday. The Lions were defeated by Orleans on Thursday, 57-48. North Knox heads to Wood Memorial on Tuesday.
NK 19- 11- 12- 19- 61
WC 8- 10- 11- 10- 39
North Knox (61)Jake Alsman 3 2-2 8, Christopher Graman 8 2-2 20, Cole Bond 2 0-0 5, Jacob Burress 2 2-2 6, Jordan Meurer 7 204 18, Mark Martin 1 2-2 4. Totals: 23 10-12 61.
Washington Catholic (39)
Ethan Wichman 2 0-0 5, TJ Hill 3 3-5 9, Jonathan Mitchell 2 0-0 6, Colton Reed 5 1-2 11, Brian Brown 0 1-2 1, Nick Boyd 1 0-0 2, Christian Neace 1 1-2 3, Brendan Purdue 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 6-11 39.
Three-point goals: NK; Graman 2, Bond, Meurer 2. WC; Wichman, Mitchell 2.
Junior Varsity: North Knox 27 (Jobe-9), Washington Catholic 20 (Wichman-7).