CLAYTON — All week the Northmont varsity basketball team had its focus on a showdown Saturday at Trotwood-Madison (11-1). That had Thunderbolts’ Coach Collin Abels concerned as it is never a good thing to overlook an opponent.
Those fears were laid to rest Friday as Northmont romped to an easy 83-42 victory at home over Piqua.
A total of 11 Northmont players scored in the victory led by Vinson Walker with 15, Rodney Richardson with 14 and Jabari Perkins with 11. Cameron Rucker entered the game late in the fourth quarter and buried a trio of 3-pointers to finish with nine.
It was a fitting performance on Veterans Appreciation Night. Enlisted and retired military personnel received free admission to the game and were honored in a ceremony prior to the game. Players from both teams shook hands with military personnel present and thanked them for their service.
Also recognized were Joe Swartztrauber, 51, longtime owner of Rob’s Restaurant, and Jerry Spicer, 63, a 12 year junior varsity basketball coach at Northmont. Both men were supporters of Northmont athletics and passed away this past week. Swartztrauber died unexpectedly January 15. Spicer died January 17 following a 12 year battle with Parkinson’s.
“First and foremost I would like to say two things. One, it was good to play that well on a night that is very special honoring the troops and recognizing those that do so much to fight for our freedom and protect us. The second thing is we lost a very good member of the Northmont Basketball Family in Coach Spicer,” said Northmont Coach Collin Abels. “One of the things his wife told me tonight as I was going through the viewing line was, ‘Win one tonight for Coach Spicer.’ I think Coach Spicer would have been proud with how the guys competed tonight.”
Northmont went on an 8-0 run to open the game and led 23-8 at the end of the first quarter and 48-17 at halftime and never looked back.
“In regard to the game, all week all anybody wanted to talk about was Trotwood, and as a coach that always makes you nervous,” Abels noted. “You know I say it all the time, Piqua has good players, they practice hard and they compete like crazy and every team deserves your respect. The thing that I am most proud of was that our guys went out there and respected Piqua and played the game hard and in the right way and we were able to have a big victory.”
PIQ 08 17 33 42 – 42
NMT 23 48 66 83 – 83
Piqua: Gage Smith 16, Ben Schmiesing 7, Nate Monnin 9, Caleb Patton 2, Nick Rigola 8. Totals: 15-4-42.
Northmont: Anthony Dorsey 4, Jabari Perkins 11, Rodney Richardson 14, Christian Wilson 4, Maurice Beavers 4, Vinson Walker 15, Arius Spears 6, Tyree Trammell 5, Cameron Rucker 9, Donavin Wallace 5, DaLonte Capers 6. Totals: 32-11-83.
3-point goals: Piqua 8 (Smith 4, Rigola 2, Schmiesing, Monnin); Northmont 8 (Rucker 3, Perkins 2, Wilson, Trammell, Wallace).
Records: Piqua 3-10, Northmont 12-2.
JV Score: Northmont 59 Piqua 43.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind