CLAYTON — After losing back-to-back road games to division opponents 48-56 to Lebanon and 70-42 to Springboro the Northmont girls basketball team got back into the win column Monday night by posting 63-56 victory over Bellbrook.
Junior guard Makayla Cooper hit a pair of third quarter 3-pointers and scored nine fourth quarter points to help lead the Lady Bolts to victory. Center Shalaya Heath, also a junior, had 15 points.
Northmont held a 16-8 lead after the first quarter but Bekah Vine buried a trey and Cassidy Hofacker came up with a pair of steals and scored Bellbrook’s next three baskets, drawing a foul on the third and sinking the bonus to give the Lady Eagles an 18-16 lead. Northmont settled down and got baskets from Jenna Hoschouer, Salena Roberts, a steal and a basket by Kaitlyn McCrary, and a pair of free throws by Heath and Camryn Nadir to take a 28-22 lead at the half.
“Bellbrook is always a tough team and it is always a physical game,” said Northmont Coach Bethany Kincer.
Northmont got physical and opened up a 40-26 lead early in the third quarter. Heath scored and Anna Mangen and Cooper both knocked down a 3-pointer early but Bellbrook wouldn’t go away. The Lady Eagles fought back to trail 45-40 entering the fourth quarter, but that is when the Lady Bolts experienced players stepped up.
After Bellbrook pulled to within three Hoschouer scored and Cooper banked a 3-pointer in off the glass. Cooper later scored and drew a foul and sank the bonus to put Northmont up 58-48. Bellbrook countered with a basket by Brooklyn Hall and Maren Freudenchuss buried a 3-pointer after a Northmont turnover to cut the gap to 58-54 with 1:16 left.
Northmont turned the ball over again but Mangen stole the ball back and Nadir scored inside to boost the lead to six. Cooper drew a foul and sank both free throws and later tacked on one more as the Lady Bolts earned a hard-fought seven point win.
“We had some kids step up tonight and knock down some shots and take charge and we finally came out on top,” Kincer added. “Makayla Cooper really stepped up tonight. We needed some experienced players to step up to take charge and take control. She hit a couple of three pointers at crucial points that kind of stopped their runs, which we need out of her every single game. It’s nice to have a different player step up every single game and to see each player stepping up more and more is very promising.”
Cooper also led the team with 11 rebounds while Hoschouer and Heath had seven each.
Northmont hosts Miamisburg Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Fairmont on Saturday at 1 p.m. and plays at Fairborn on Monday at Baker Middle School at 7 p.m.
BELL 08 22 40 56 – 56
NMT 16 28 45 63 – 63
Bellbrook: Maren Freudenchuss 5, Dani Westbrook 1, Cassidy Hofacker 16, Bekah Vine 16, Kayla Paul 2, Olivia Greathouse 5, Brooklyn Hall 9, Gigi Painter 2. Totals: 20-13-56.
Northmont: Makayla Cooper 17, Kaitlyn McCrary 8, Jenna Hoschouer 8, Anna Mangen 4, Salena Roberts 3, Camryn Nadir 6, Shalaya Heath 15, Gabby Kline 2. Totals: 20-19-63.
3-point goals: Bellbrook 3 (Freudenchuss, Vine, Hall); Northmont 4 (Cooper 3, Mangen).
Season Records: Bellbrook 3-2, Northmont 3-2.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind