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Knights pull off huge upset
by Clipper
Feb 16, 2005 | 535 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BOUNTIFUL -- The Northridge Knights shocked the Viewmont Vikings 58-56 Tuesday, after the Knights converted a full-court pass and shot with 1.7 seconds remaining. The game, which featured the 8-1 Vikings against the 1-8 Knights, was not expected to be so competitive, but the Knights matched the Vikings shot for shot in getting the impressive win. Both teams started out the game well offensively. The Vikings were able to work the ball down low to Sol Jensen, who had six points in the first quarter, and he found the open man on the outside when the defense collapsed on him. Following a Chris Romney three-pointer with four minutes remaining the Vikings held an 8-6 lead. The Vikings extended their lead to 12-6, but before they could take a commanding lead the Knights' Auston Rob-inson connected on a three-pointer of his own to cut the Vikings lead in half. Andrew Jordan, who averages 20 points per game for the Knights, also had five first-quarter points going up against Jensen, a match-up that was key to the Knights' upset.

In the second quarter, the Vikings continued to look strong offensively, but the Knights refused to let the Vikings pull away. After Chris Jackson, who came off the bench for the Knights, hit his second three-pointer of the quarter, the Viking lead was 26-21. The half nearly ended with that same score, but with seven seconds remaining John Fadel hit a short jumper while being fouled for the Vikings. After converting the free throw, the Vikings entered the half with a 29-21 lead.

As the second half began, the Knights continued to stay aggressive getting the ball into Jordan in the low post against Jensen. With five minutes remaining, Jensen picked up his fourth foul defending Jordan and was forced to sit down for the rest of the quarter. Jordan made both free throws,, cutting the Vikings' lead to 31-29, and the Knights knew that this was their opportunity to make a run for the lead. With Jensen on the bench, the Vikings had no answer for Jordan's size and athleticism. He was able to score easily and force the Vikings to double-team him. Jordan did a superb job finding the open man out of the double-team and after Grayson Dart knocked down a three-pointer on a pass from Jordan with 51 seconds remaining in the quarter the Knights grabbed hold of the lead 39-38, which was the score when the quarter ended.

The Vikings were not willing to go down without a fight, and after a turnaround basket by Jensen the Vikings were ahead 43-41. Both teams traded baskets and leads as the fourth quarter began to wind down, but after a Jensen offensive rebound and lay-up with 1:45 remaining the Vikings led 56-50, and seemed as though they would pull out the tough win, but the Knights had other plans. Brandon Adams and Robinson both connected on threes in the final minute to tie the game 56-56, but the Vikings held the ball for the final shot and either a win or overtime. After running the clock below five seconds the Vikings threw an entry pass to Jensen in the post, but Jordan intercepted the pass and called time out with 1.7 seconds remaining. That left the Knights 94 feet from the basket and without much hope of avoiding overtime but the Knights perfectly executed an inbounds play as time expired. Robinson lobbed the ball to Jordan at the top of the key who immediately made a no-look pass to Dart, who had slipped underneath the basket and hit the uncontested lay-up as time expired.

Jordan led the Knights with 21 points while Robinson added 12 points on four three-pointers. For the game the Knights were 9-17 from behind the arc, including a blistering 5-7 in the second half. The Vikings were led by Jensen, who had 14 points on 7-10 shooting from the field, and Romney who also had 14.

After the game, Northridge head coach Craig Hansen talked about the final play.

"That's not something you can practice. We just drew it up and our guys executed it perfectly."

It was a win, according to Hansen, that the Knights needed.

"We've lost some close games," said Hansen. "To get a win against a team like this on the road is great for our young team's confidence."

With the win the Knights improved to 2-8 in region and can still overtake 3-7 Layton for fifth in region and the final tournament spot.

The Vikings fell to 8-2 with the loss, knocking them out of a tie atop Region 1 with Fremont. They will try to rebound Friday night at home against Clear-field, before ending the regular season next Tuesday at Davis. The Knights face Fremont on the road Friday night, before ending the season with the Lancers on Tuesday in what could be a tournament qualification game for both teams.
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