DAYTON — Northmont’s season came to an abrupt end Saturday at U.D. Arena where the Thunderbolts lost 62-33 to Cincinnati La Salle in the district final.
La Salle shot a respectable 57.9 percent from the floor compared to only 28.9 percent by Northmont. La Salle was red hot in the first two quarters shooting 66.7 and 71.4 percent to take leads of 14-6 at the end of the first quarter and 32-17 at halftime. At that point the game was essentially over.
La Salle buried four 3-pointers in the second quarter, three of which came from way downtown. Those bombs, coupled with the Thunderbolts inability to sustain a consistent scoring attack, spelled doom for the Northmont faithful.
Vinson Walker gave Northmont an early 2-0 lead but the Bolts missed five first quarter shots. Anthony Dorsey and Maurice Beavers scored the Thunderbolts’ other two baskets in the first quarter. La Salle went on 7-0 run early in the second quarter to cruise to a 15 point halftime advantage.
The third quarter saw Northmont manage to score only six points compared to 15 by the Lancers. Tre Crigler buried a pair of treys and scored eight third quarter point to boost Las Salle’s lead to 47-23 entering the final quarter.
Cincinnati teams have been Northmont’s kryptonite in tournament play over the years. In 2006 the Thunderbolts lost to Cincinnati Princeton 68-46, in 2008 to Cincinnati St. Xavier 58-22 and in 2010 to Cincinnati Colerain 69-63.
La Salle converted on six of 11 shots from three point range.
“They have a couple of guys that can make those shots and they make sure they get the shots that they want,” said Northmont Coach Collin Abels. “They have a couple of guys, especially Riley Haubner that I have seen make some shots, but not the way he made them tonight. I think that once we got behind that it took us out of our game. They take you out of what you want to do and they make it tough on you. They only gave up 40 points a game this year, so you have to get off to a good start and it just didn’t happen tonight.”
Overall, he was pleased with what his team accomplished this year with 20 victories and only five losses.
“I told the guys that they have a lot to be proud of,” Abels added. “A lot people are upset about the loss and the end of the season. This team won 20 games, the second most in school history and won the first outright championship since 1975 and the first sectional final since 2010. Those eight seniors in there paved the way for this. I am just proud of them. It was a great year for Northmont basketball and those eight seniors are a big reason why. I know myself and the coaches and the Northmont community are indebted to those guys because they gave us a heck of a ride this year. It was a blast. The part that is really hard is knowing that you are losing a lot of leadership and a lot of character. They showed the younger guys what it takes to win.”
NMT 06 17 23 33 – 33
LAS 14 32 47 62 – 62
Northmont: Anthony Dorsey 6, Rodney Richardson 4, Christian Wilson 3, Maurice Beavers 2, Vinson Walker 6, Arius Spears 5, Tyree Trammell 2, DaLonte Capers 5. Totals: 13-6-33.
La Salle: Tre Crigler 15, Brandon Da’Meak 11, Riley Haubner 16, Christopher Fleming 14, Joe Hartman 6. Totals: 22-12-62.
3-point goals: Northmont 1 (Spears); La Salle 6 (Crigler 2, Haubner 2, Fleming 2).
Records: Northmont 20-5, La Salle 23-3.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind