CLAYTON — Ronnie Hampton erupted to score 20 second half points and Tallice Landers had 15 to help lift Wayne to a 78-69 victory Friday at Northmont.
Landers paced Wayne with 25 and Hampton had 23 as the Warriors fought hard to overcome a pesky Northmont team that had three players score in double figures. Senior Danny Lewis and sophomore Prophet Johnson each had 18 points while junior Justin Golson tossed in 11 for Northmont to keep the Warriors hustling.
Johnson scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter including a trio of treys to help keep the Thunderbolts hot on Wayne’s heels until the final two minutes of play.
Trailing by three the Thunderbolts missed a 3-pointer and Landers buried a three from the right side and then came up with a steal underneath the basket in the Northmont backcourt and scored to put Wayne up 74-66.
Landers scored back-to-back baskets and Johnson nailed a 3-pointer for Northmont to close out the game as the Warriors walked away with a nine point victory.
Wayne Coach Nathan Martindale felt his team was a little worn out after being involved in back-to-back overtime games; a 91-88 victory last Friday over Trotwood-Madison and a 77-73 loss last Saturday at Sidney. He credited Landers and Hampton for coming up big in the second half vs. Northmont.
“Landers really played well the second half. He had twisted his ankle in the first half but he kept on playing,” Martindale said. “He is just a tough kid. He comes from a great family with Robert and obviously Trey. I am proud of him for how he handled the ball well at the end and also for doing the little things. I got on him for missing one of the technical free throws because it is always a fight to see who wants to shoot those free throws, so I told him ‘You owe me now.’ I’m just proud of his effort and proud of our guys in the second half.”
Wayne led 15-12 after the first quarter but Northmont kept pace and trailed 34-31 at halftime. Wayne opened up a 49-40 third quarter lead but the Thunderbolts fought back with baskets by Ifeanyi Nwanoro, a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer by Golson and basket and a free throw by Lewis to trail 55-52 entering the fourth quarter.
Landers scored 11 fourth quarter points and Hampton had eight to power the Warriors to victory.
“It wasn’t a pretty game,” Martindale added. “We just got to do a better job of making the easy play, and I think that is something that we have to focus on as coaches and we just have to continue to buy-in. Hampton had a great second half and really turned it on. He hit some really tough shots. As a team I thought Brian Hill did a great job down the stretch inside for us. He brings a lot of energy to us. Malcolm Curry is another guy who came off the bench and played really good minutes for us tonight. Overall it’s nice to be 4-1 in the GWOC, but it is always tough to win on the road in this conference. I don’t care who you are playing against. Northmont did a really good job. Their kids competed and we are thankful to get the win.”
Prophet Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 5:09 left to pull Northmont to within four. After a basket by Hampton, Johnson came up with a steal in Wayne’s backcourt but lost control of the ball. After a Wayne timeout Hill scored a baseline dunk to boost the Warriors’ lead to 67-59. Northmont got a bucket by Patrick Ivory and after a Wayne turnover Johnson buried another trey to cut Wayne’s lead to 67-64.
Ivory scored inside to make it a one point game with 2:34 left. Rashad McKee boosted Wayne’s lead to 69-64 and after Northmont missed a 3-pointer Landers buried a trey and scored three more baskets down the stretch to put the game away.
“We made multiple errors twice late in the game after we got it down to a one possession game and Hampton made a great decision and took it right to the hole,” said Northmont Coach Shane Kincer. “It felt like in the second half everything he threw up went in. He scored 20 on us in the second half. From the left side they were rolling it in using English off the glass. He made some big shots. We came down and missed a three and they got a three at the other end to make it a six point game very quickly.”
Kincer said based on the scouting report the coaching staff was worried about Hampton and McKee.
“I thought we did a good job holding McKee to nine points. He is their second leading scorer,” Kincer added. “Landers had a shooting night where he didn’t miss. He went 4-for-4 from three point range and ended up with 25 points and I’d say he averages about eight a game. In my opinion, Ronnie Hampton put the team on his back tonight and took them to victory.”
Northmont held the edge in rebounds 34-30 and had 15 turnovers while Wayne had 12.
Wayne plays at Springfield this Friday and at Akron St. Vincent St. Mary’s on Sunday. Northmont plays at Lebanon on Tuesday, at Beavercreek on Friday and hosts Franklin next Saturday.
WAY 15 34 55 78 – 78
NMT 12 31 52 69 – 69
Wayne: Rashad McKee 4-0-9, Cam Fancher 2-0-5, Tallice Landers 10-1-25, Brian Hill 3-0-6, Malcolm Curry 1-0-2, Ronnie Hampton 11-1-23, Bobby Cole 2-2-6, Jahrod Lankford 0-2-2. Totals: 33-6-78.
Northmont: Miles Johnson 0-1-1, Danny Lewis 6-5-18, Di’italian Rayford 2-0-4, Patrick Ivory 3-2-8, Justin Golson 3-4-11, Jordan Smith 2-0-4, Ifeanyi Nwanoro 1-0-2, Corey Gay 1-0-3, Prophet Johnson 7-1-18. Totals: 25-13-69.
3-point goals: Wayne 6 (Landers 4, McKee, Fancher); Northmont 6 (P. Johnson 3, Lewis, Golson, Gay).
Records: Wayne 6-4 (4-1), Northmont 4-5 (1-4).
JV Score: Wayne 51 Northmont 30.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind