SPRINGBORO — Leading by 10 points by the end of the first quarter and 34-29 at halftime the Northmont boys basketball team suffered a letdown of sorts Friday night at Springboro.
The Thunderbolts distributed the ball well in the first quarter to take a 19-9 lead entering the second stanza. Northmont buried a trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter; two by Donavin Wallace and one by Cameron Rucker. Springboro knocked down a trio in the second quarter; one each by Kaleb Tabor, C.J. Emanuel and Connor Grevey to cut the Thunderbolts’ lead to five at halftime.
When play resumed in the third quarter Northmont players seemed intent on playing one-on-one basketball and the Panthers zeroed in on the basket from the perimeter to bury five 3-pointers to take a 53-42 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Springboro hit two more treys in the final period and Northmont never managed to regain its fluid first quarter play as the Panthers went on to post a 69-57 victory. The win lifted the Panthers out of the basement in the National West division of the Greater Western Ohio Conference, which is where the Thunderbolts fell into with the loss.
Dawson Walker paced Northmont with 20 points while Kaleb Tabor had 20 for the Panthers followed by Garrett Powell with 14 and William Yates with 10.
“The shame of it is I thought we played really well in the first half,” said Northmont Coach Collin Abels. “Springboro had a stretch where they scored on six consecutive possessions and even with that we still had a five point lead at halftime. There were times where we played extremely well and shared the basketball, communicated defensively and at halftime it was like we went in and turned the switch off. Those same things that allowed us to have success in the first half came back to bite us in the second half. We didn’t communicate very well defensively and that led to a lot of open looks for them. They made seven or eight threes in the second half. On one hand they made the shots. On the other hand, in high school basketball if you don’t contest those shots they can make them. Offensively I felt like we got a little too one-on-one offensive minded. In the first half we shared the basketball, moved it and created a lot of opportunities for each other. In the second half it seemed like the players were trying to create opportunities for themselves individually. If you cheat the game, the game will cheat you back. Unfortunately that has kind of been our bugaboo all year.”
NMT 19 34 42 57 – 57
SPR 09 29 53 69 – 69
Northmont: Dawson Walker 8-3-20, Donavin Wallace 3-0-8, Cameron Rucker 4-0-9, Jamaal Linson 1-0-2, Ryan Foy 3-0-6, Danny Lewis 3-1-7, Prophet Johnson 2-1-5. Totals: 24-5-57.
Springboro: Kaleb Tabor 8-0-20, Garrett Powell 6-0-14, C.J. Emanuel 1-0-3, Logan Zier 2-0-5, Michael Berner 4-1-9, Connor Grevey 2-0-5, Tom Arrington 1-0-3, William Yates 4-1-10. Totals: 28-2-69.
3-point goals: Northmont 4 (Wallace 2, Walker, Rucker); Springboro 11 (Tabor 4, Powell 2, Emanuel, Zier, Grevey, Arrington, Yates).
Records: Northmont 7-11 (1-8), Springboro 6-13 (2-8).
JV Score: Springboro 56 Northmont 54.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind