FAIRBORN — Northmont opened the season with a solid 49-33 victory Monday at Fairborn. The win avenged the Lady Bolts 48-38 loss to the Lady Skyhawks in the opening round of tournament play last season.
Denissa Sly led Northmont with 22 points and sank a pair of key free throws after getting clotheslined inside the paint and hitting the floor hard. Sly shook off the severe foul to sink both shots.
“She got hit pretty hard and she has a shoulder injury that kind of always hiccups on her, so it’s a little nerve racking to see her go down holding her shoulder,” said Northmont Coach Bethany Kincer. “She got back up, kept her cool and knocked down two free throws at a crucial point and finished the game out for us.”
The game was a rough and tumble affair. In a 90 second span in the third quarter the teams racked up seven jump balls as they battled for possession.
Asked if she expected that kind of game, Kincer said it wasn’t surprising.
“Yeah, I did. You know we played Fairborn really well the first time we played them last year,” Kincer said. “We were down ten and came back in the second half to beat them, but in the tournament game it was like a street fight and they knocked us out of the tournament. My girls came out tonight with a little bit of extra passion ready to work, ready to play hard. Emotions get high when it’s your first game and when you are playing the team that knocked you out of the tournament.”
Jana Brown-Griffith paced the Fairborn attack with nine points.
Fairborn led 12-9 after the first quarter but Sly erupted for 10 second quarter points to put the Lady Bolts up 21-15 at the half. Northmont held a 32-23 after three quarters en route to the 49-33 win.
Northmont will host Butler on Monday, November 30.
NMT 09 21 32 49 – 49
FBN 12 15 23 33 – 33
Northmont: Makayla Cooper 9, Cory Mangen 2, Anna Mangen 4, Ashley Jones 3, Erin Mangen 3, Denissa Sly 22, Shalaya Heath 4, Alexia Payne 2. Totals: 21-5-49.
Fairborn: Courtney Mustard 5, Megan Williams 6, Evelyn Oktavek 6, Kaylie Cook 4, Ashley Dagnan 1, Jana Brown-Griffith 9, Kristen George 2. Totals: 10-12-33.
3-point goals: Northmont 2 (Cooper, E. Mangen); Fairborn 1 (Oktavek).
Records: Northmont 1-0, Fairborn 0-1.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind