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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Norwell’s Piercen Harnish looks to shoot against Woodlan during the first half Friday night at Woodlan.

Sharing ball pays off big for Norwell

3 players hit double figures as Knights blow out Woodlan

– This is not rocket science, the way Norwell basketball coach Randy Hawkins lays it out. It’s not quantum physics or mathematical theory or even geometry, although that has its part to play when Hawkins’ Knights load up and launch it.

No, sir. Mostly, Hawkins says, it’s what you learned in kindergarten: Sharing.

“When we share the basketball,” he said Friday night, after his Knights (13-5) sautéed Woodlan 85-50, “and when we move the ball and make the extra pass. … When we do those kind of things, we can look pretty good.

“We’ve got the guys out there who can do a lot of great things for us. And when we have confidence and we move the basketball, we’re feeling pretty good about things. Even if the shot doesn’t go down, I’m still happy with the way we’re playing.”

A lot of shots did go down Friday for the Knights, whose launch point came courtesy of reserve Briar Bolinger, who flipped up a what-the-heck pop-up from the wing as the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter, then pumped his fist as it dropped through.

The bucket sent Norwell to the second quarter with a 17-11 lead, and marked the last time Woodlan had the Knights within spitting distance.

A Cam Denney three opened the second quarter for Norwell, then the points began to pile up.

By the time the flurry was done, the Knights – who had missed 12 of their 19 shots in the first quarter – had dropped seven of their first eight in the second, four of them threes, and suspense was gone.

David Vogel’s three, the fifth of the quarter, left Norwell up 38-16 with 3:19 to play in the half. A 42-24 Norwell lead at the half became 64-35 when the Knights finished the third quarter on a 14-2 run, and Woodlan (9-11) never got closer than 23 again.

Josh VanMeter scored 25 points, 20 in the last three quarters, and Denney (13) and Vogel (13) also hit double figures for Norwell. It was the Knights’ second straight blowout win after a brutal NHC schedule that sent them to DeKalb, Carroll, New Haven and Columbia City, with a home game against Homestead.

“We played tough teams, and I thought we played them tough,” Hawkins said. “We did some things we needed to do, and we saw some things we needed to work on to get better. So we take the positives and keep going with it, and look at the negatives and see what we can do better. I think the last couple games we’ve done that.”

Starting, this night, with Basketball 101.

“When you have a point guard like Josh, who gets it started, and you’ve got big guys like me and (Cale) Schummi who are going to battle in there … as long as you spread the floor and you screen, then you know you’re going to have some looks,” Denney said.

“It’s really good we did that tonight. Now we just have to be consistent about it.”

bensmith@jg.net

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