- Special Sections
- Public Notices
INDEPENDENCE –– There are still 363 days to go, but so far, Eric Harvey is finding 2009 much to his liking.
Harvey enjoyed a near-record night and Grayson County overcame a slow start to pummel Northwood 71-54 in a nondistrict game Friday night.
Harvey’s night started off rather sluggish as well, as the 6-foot-4 sophomore forward missed his first four free throws and totaled two points and two rebounds in the first quarter. Over the final three periods, though, Harvey tossed in another 33 points, including 11 straight from the foul line, tying the third-highest point total in school history.
“I thought it was a quiet 35,” said Grayson County coach Lucas Austin after his team improved to 7-3 on the year. “I don’t pay a lot of attention to that. I knew he had several points, but I had no idea he had 35. He did a nice job finishing tonight. He played a good all-around game.”
Harvey also pulled down 15 rebounds as the Blue Devils dominated the glass 53-36.
After muddling through the first half to a 22-20 lead, the Blue Devils picked up the pace in the third period, using full-court pressure to ignite its offense and outscoring the Panthers 26-12. Harvey scored 12 points in the third, and Bubba Bowen scored six points in 37 seconds, including a four-point play. Bowen pulled down a defensive rebound and drove the length of the floor for a layup, going to the line for a possible three-point play. Bowen missed the free throw but gathered the miss and hit the stickback for a 34-22 lead at 4:39 of the third. The play was part of a 22-5 run that saw the Blue Devil lead grow from two points to 42-25 in a little more than five minutes of play.
“Our game is to play a little more up-tempo,” said Austin. “A lot of these teams play that zone, and we just don’t click until we start pressing and speed the tempo of the game up a little. I tried not to do it much in the first half because we don’t go very deep on the bench. We’ve made that mistake a couple of times this year, trying to press early, and we wear out toward the end, so we try to get through the half without pressing too much.”
Northwood’s Ty Frye and Jeremiah Thompson each hit a 3-pointer in the third period, but the Panthers still trailed 48-32 entering the fourth.
Harvey scored off a Steven Eller lob with 6:20 to play for two of his 11 fourth-quarter points, and another Bowen stickback put the Blue Devils ahead by 20 points, 58-38, at the 5:44 mark.
Harvey capped his big night with a three-point play and then a baseline jumper before leaving the floor with about two minutes to go.
The first half was everything the second half wasn’t for Grayson County. Working methodically against a Northwood zone defense, the Blue Devils went more than three minutes without a bucket, falling behind 11-5 as Thompson scored on a putback and a driving layup for Northwood.
Grayson County trailed 13-10 after eight minutes before opening the second quarter with a 6-0 run, including two Harvey putbacks.
Austin Smith finished a fast break and later completed a three-point play as Northwood led 20-18, but Harvey sank two foul shots and converted an Eller pass into a transition bucket for a 22-20 Devil lead at the break.
Overshadowed by Harvey’s big night was a double-double by Bowen, who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“We’re playing well in spurts,” Austin said. “We’re still going though some growing pains. We’ve got two sophomores out there, and some of the other guys don’t have a lot of experience, but we’re getting where we want to be.”
Thompson canned four treys and led the Panthers with 20 points. Trevor Hagen added 10 points for Northwood.
Northwood 13 9 12 22––50
Grayson County 10 12 26 23––71
T.Frye 2 2-2 7, Thompson 8 0-0 20, Hagen 5 0-2 10, Combs 3 0-0 7, Crawford 1 2-2 4, H.Frye 0 0-0 0, Smith 2 2-5 6, O’Bier 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 6-11 54.
Grayson County (7-3)
Rutherford 3 2-2 9, P.Bowen 3 1-2 7, Harvey 12 11-15 35, B.Bowen 5 2-6 12, Blizzard 2 0-0 4, Hernandez 0 0-0 0, Whitt 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0, Phipps 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 18-28 71.
Three-point field goals – Northwood 6-22 (Thompson 4, T.Frye, Combs), Grayson County 1-10 (Rutherford). Rebounds – Northwood 36 (Hagen, Smith 6), Grayson County 53 (Harvey 15, P.Bowen 11). Turnovers – Northwood 26, Grayson County 18. Steals – Northwood 9 (Combs 5), Grayson County 13 (Rutherford, B.Bowen 4). Team fouls – Northwood 22, Grayson County 12. Fouled out – T.Frye, Hagen, Crawford. Technical fouls – None.
JV – Grayson County, 67-24.