CLAYTON — After suffering a scoring drought in the final minutes Tuesday at Springboro the Northmont Thunderbolts boys basketball team switched strategy for its division contest Friday against Beavercreek.
At Springboro the Thunderbolts were trailing 48-42 when their offense went cold and the Panthers scored the final 13 points of the game to secure a 61-42 victory. Back home against Beavercreek the Thunderbolts used a more patient offensive approach to post a 51-45 Central Division win.
“Beavercreek is heavy in the gaps the way they play defensively and we struggled a little bit with our press tonight,” said Northmont Coach Collin Abels. “That limited some of our scoring opportunities. We talked about trying not to be in a hurry, especially when the ball is in the half court. We stressed letting the ball touch both sides of the floor to give us an opportunity to breakdown their defense to get some better shots. I felt against Springboro we had a lot of quick shots, a lot of catch and shoots instead of moving the ball and letting it touch four or five hands before we attacked the hoop.”
With the win Northmont improved to 6-5 overall and 2-1 in division play while Beavercreek fell to 1-10 and 0-3.
The Beavers did not play like a team with only one victory under its belt. The Beavers led 12-6 at the end of the first quarter before Northmont fought back to take a 25-24 lead by halftime. Jarell Taylor (11 points) and Jason Biggs (22 points) led the second quarter comeback by scoring seven points apiece.
Beavercreek held its own in the third quarter leading 36-34 at one point before Northmont took a 38-36 lead entering the final eight minutes of play.
The final quarter started with Biggs going to the free throw line on back-to-back possessions and knocked down all four shots to put the Bolts up 42-38. Northmont appeared to be in the driver’s seat maintaining a four point advantage, but a senior player blew his defensive coverage and Beavercreek’s Jon Alessandro knocked down a 3-pointer to cut Northmont’s lead to 46-45.
Northmont called a timeout with 53 seconds to play and during the timeout Abels appeared to be temporarily possessed by the soul of legendary former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka. Abels slammed the grease board against floor more than once as he bellowed his disgust with the blown coverage. When play resumed the Thunderbolts converted five of eight shots from the foul line during the final 50 seconds while holding Beavercreek scoreless to secure the 51-45 victory.
“We had set the defense and one of our seniors didn’t stay on his man and switched, and as a result Alessandro got a wide open three,” Abels commented. “We had a very poignant conversation about the fact that you’ve got to be willing to be able to execute the play that we set up. It’s one of those things that you talk to the kid, and the nice thing is that he is a senior and he understands that we love him, that we care about him, but he needs to pay attention better in that situation and execute the play and go from there.”
Alessandro finished with 17 points for Beavercreek while Jackson Hansen led the Beavers with 18.
Northmont will play Dayton City League opponent Ponitz on Tuesday before returning home to host division rival Centerville on Friday.
BVC 12 24 36 45 – 45
NMT 06 25 38 51 – 51
Beavercreek: Jon Alessandro 17, Alec Otto 2, Cedric Baldwin 8, Jackson Hansen 18. Totals: 15-14-45.
Northmont: Jarell Taylor 11, Myles Tanner 8, Jabari Perkins 3, Christian Wilson 6, Rodney Richardson 1, Jason Biggs 22. Totals: 15-16-51.
3-point goals: Beavercreek 1 (Alessandro); Northmont 5 (Biggs 2, Taylor, Perkins, Wilson).
Records: Northmont 6-5 (2-1); Beavercreek 1-10 (0-3).
JV Score: Northmont 52 Beavercreek 44.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind