HUBER HEIGHTS — Wayne remained undefeated (18-0) as they sailed past Northmont 71-45 in a Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division matchup on Tuesday night.
Wayne showed why they are ranked No.1 according to the AP Ohio High School Div. 1 Power Poll and No.11 Nationally in the most recent Max Prep rankings as they easily handled Northmont and moved their winning streak to 26 consecutive games.
L’Christian Smith led the way for Wayne racking up his sixth consecutive double-double scoring 17 points, 13 rebounds, followed by Chazz George with 15 points, which included three 3-pointers and Demond Parker added 14 points, two 3-pointers. Jason Biggs was the leading scorer for Northmont with 9 points.
“Obviously Wayne is a very good basketball team,” said Northmont Coach Collin Abels. “They are a very experienced basketball team. They are No.1 for a reason. They have a lot of pieces. Like I told Coach Trice, I haven’t seen everybody, but I think they have as good a chance as anybody to repeat.
The two things I wanted to see us do tonight was stick with what we do, because a lot of times when you play a team like that you try to do things out of the ordinary.
“The second thing was I wanted to make sure we went out and competed, didn’t lay down, didn’t play scared, we took it at them and I felt like we did that,” Abels added. “The biggest thing is when you play Wayne not only do you have to prepare for them physically but mentally you have to make sure your kids stick with what you do so that when you play the next game you don’t create a bunch of bad habits or a bad mentality about yourself and it ends up hurting you in the next game.”
Wayne came out of the gate fast as they scored the first nine points of the game the last two points coming on a L’Christian Smith rebound and pass to Demond Parker for a layup to force a Northmont timeout. Northmont gained composure as Arius Spears hit a much needed basket and Jabari Perkins knocked down a 3-pointer to keep the Wayne lead manageable at 15-7. Wayne came right back on a Smith dunk and a Chazz George basket to take a 19-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“It was important for us to come out and set the tone,” said Wayne Coach Travis Trice. “I thought our defensive intensity was really good, especially early on in the game, but I thought it was maintained throughout the game. Our defense stayed consistent and that is what we will have to lean on. Our motto’s are we are going to defend, we are going to rebound and we are going to transition.”
To begin the second quarter George connected on a 3-pointer that sparked a 9-2 run as Wayne stretched the lead to 16 points on a Kenny Couch dunk and a Trey Landers basket. Jason Biggs and Christian Wilson answered with baskets of their own to cut the deficit back to 13 points and a 29-16 halftime score.
Wayne started the third quarter with a 9-2 run combined with a swarming defense to extend the lead to 21 points and gain the largest lead of the night. But Northmont continued to fight to stay in the game as a Vinson Walker basket cut the lead to 16 points to end the quarter at 47-31.
That would be as close as Northmont would get to Wayne as the Warriors shifted into another gear in the fourth quarter to blow past the Bolts and continue the season undefeated. With the win Wayne improves to 18-0 overall and 7-0 in the Central Division, Northmont drops to 14-8, 4-3.
Northmont’s next games will be Friday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Beavercreek and Saturday Feb.6 at 5 p.m. as they host Elder.
Wayne will play at Springfield Friday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and at Greenville, Saturday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. Saturday times have been changed. Freshmen play at 3 p.m. and JV at 4:30 p.m.
NMT 10 16 31 45 – 45
WAY 19 29 47 71 – 71
Northmont: Jarell Taylor 5, Myles Tanner 3, Jabari Perkins 3, Christian Wilson 3, Rodney Richardson 6, Vinson Walker 5, Arius Spears 2, Tyree Trammell 2, Jason Biggs 9, Dalonte Capers 2, Anthony Dorsey 5. Totals: 16-7-45.
Wayne: L’Christian Smith 17, Deshon Parker 8, Trey Landers 4, Scott Lute 2, Chazz George 15, Roderick Caldwell 2, Kenny Couch 7, Davaughn Alexander 2, Demond Parker 14. Totals: 20-7-71.
3-point goals: Northmont 2 (Perkins, Biggs); Wayne 8 (George 3, Demond Parker 2, Deshon Parker 2, Smith).
Records: Northmont 10-8 (4-3), Wayne 18-0 (7-0).
JV Score: Northmont 36 Wayne 48
Reach Steve Granata at firstname.lastname@example.org