CLAYTON — After leading for the first three quarters Friday at home vs. division rival Miamisburg the Northmont Thunderbolts let the game slip away in the fourth quarter to lose 55-51.
Patrick Ivory scored 11 points in the first half but was held scoreless in the second half and still finished as the team’s leading scorer.
“Miamisburg started playing a little bit more physical with him, got into his body and he made some sophomore mistakes in the second half,” said Northmont Coach Shane Kincer. “He fumbled it away a little bit and didn’t finish strong at the rim and had some shots altered. He played really well in the first half and they decided they were going to put some more bodies on him and be more physical and took him out of the game.”
On the other hand Northmont had no answer on how to stop Miamisburg’s 6-foot, 6-inch center Duncan Hall who scored a game-high 26 points. Hall scored 15 of his 26 points in the second half, nine in the fourth quarter. Hall scored the first basket in the fourth quarter to give the Vikings a 37-36 lead that Miamisburg never surrendered.
“Duncan Hall is a three of four year starter for them and we are playing two very inexperienced post players,” Kincer added. “All week we came in with the idea of fronting him in the post and having help defenders there, and they worked to front him and when they did the help didn’t get there all the way and he ended up scoring 26 points. He was the difference in the game. We just didn’t have an answer for him tonight. It didn’t matter how we tried to defend him, he was going to get his. He is a very good basketball player.”
Miles Johnson buried a 3-pointer with 1:56 left to cut Miamisburg’s lead to 46-42. The Vikings committed a player control foul on the ensuing inbounds pass but Northmont squandered an opportunity to close the gap by missing a shot down court. Hall scored to boost the lead to six and Danny Lewis committed a player control foul on the inbounds pass and Corey Hartman sank both free throws to put the Vikings up 50-42.
Johnson scored two more 3-pointers to cut the deficit to five points with 31 seconds left but it was too little, too late as the Vikings walked away with a four point win.
Northmont out-rebounded the Vikings 31-25 but most of Miamisburg’s shots were taken from close range and went in. Miamisburg sank 19 of 27 shots from the free throw line and Northmont improved its foul shooting by converting 10 of 14.
MBG 08 23 35 55 – 55
NMT 15 25 36 51 – 51
Miamisburg: Corey Hartman 1-4-7, Drew Barry 1-1-4, Colin Murphy 0-3-3, Brett Hensley 1-4-6, Dane Hall 4-1-9, Duncan Hall 10-6-26. Totals: 17-19-55.
Northmont: Miles Johnson 3-0-9, Danny Lewis 2-6-10, Di’italian Rayford 1-0-2, Patrick Ivory 5-0-11, Justin Golson 2-4-8, Jordan Smith 1-0-2, Prophet Johnson 4-0-9. Totals: 18-10-51.
3-point goals: Miamisburg 2 (Hartman, Barry); Northmont 5 (M. Johnson 3, Ivory, P. Johnson).
Records: Miamisburg 4-2 (1-1), Northmont 3-2 (1-1).
JV Score: Miamisburg 33 Northmont 32.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind