MIAMISBURG — Selfish offensive play saw Northmont trailing by 12 points, 28-16, at halftime Friday in the hostile environs at Miamisburg High School.
The Thunderbolts eventually got their act together and pulled out 63-58 victory in overtime to improve to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play while Miamisburg fell to 3-2 and 0-2.
The Thunderbolts turned it around in the second half and fought back to trail 38-34 entering the fourth quarter. Jabari Perkins buried a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter, the second one right before the buzzer as Northmont outscored the Vikings 18-10.
The Thunderbolts failure to distribute the ball and rushing their shots led to a fire and brimstone speech by Coach Collin Abels in the locker room.
“I was more disappointed with how we were playing offensively than defensively,” Abels said. “I just felt like we weren’t being tough with the basketball. We were taking quick shots and we were being selfish offensively and I felt like Miamisburg in the first half was playing more physical and tougher basketball. At halftime I challenged our players’ toughness. I said, ‘You’re carrying a proud name across your chest and you’ve got to play with toughness about you, both physically and mentally.’ A credit to the guys. I know we made some plays on the court to get back in the game, but I don’t think you get back in that game unless you believe and play tougher and have trust in your teammates and believe that they can get the job done.”
Ryan Foy scored to cut the Vikings’ lead to 40-38 with 5:14 left in regulation play. Northmont came up with a steal but turned the ball over. Jason Hubbard scored, drew a foul and sank the free throw. After an errant shot by the T-Bolts Brett Hensley scored as Miamisburg opened up a 45-38 lead.
Foy scored inside, came up with a steal and drove for a layup and then scored again to cut the Miamisburg lead to 45-44. Donavin Wallace came up with a steal and scored to give Northmont its first lead of the night 46-45 with 1:13 left in the fourth quarter.
Hensley sank a free throw to tie the game at 46. Dawson Walker snared a rebound and scored to put Northmont up 48-46 with 1:04 left. Perkins came up with a steal but missed a shot and Corey Hartman drove the baseline, scored and drew a foul, sank the free throw to put Miamisburg up 49-48 with 24 seconds left. Wallace drew a foul from Savon O’Neal and sank the second free throw to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Danny Lewis scored Northmont’s first basket in OT and went six for eight at the foul line to help lift the Thunderbolts to victory. Walker had four points and Wallace two in the bonus period.
“We had a lot of guys in the second half that gave us some momentum, but Perkins hit a couple threes that kind of sparked us offensively and that kind of sparked him defensively and he came up with some steals and that got us some transition points,” Abels added. “The game of basketball is a game of momentum and a game of runs. In the first half we were playing not to lose, but in the second half we were playing to win and Miamisburg was playing not to lose. I am just so proud of our guys. At halftime I told the guys that it was probably the two or three maddest I’ve ever been in my life and I stand here now and it is the opposite feeling. I am extremely proud of them and what they accomplished.”
Northmont plays at Belmont Saturday, at Fairmont on Tuesday and hosts Springfield on Friday.
NMT 07 16 34 49 63 – 63
MBG 10 28 38 49 58 – 58
Northmont: Dawson Walker 10, Jabari Perkins 9, Donavin Wallace 6, Cameron Rucker 4, Jamaal Linson 7, Kameron Mathis 1, Ryan Foy 12, Danny Lewis 14. Totals: 23-14-63.
Miamisburg: Jason Hubbard 7, Corey Hartman 6, Savon O’Neal 10, Drew Barry 3, Jackson Myers 3, Brett Hensley 12, Duncan Hall 17. Totals: 17-20-58.
3-point goals: Northmont 3 (Perkins 3); Miamisburg 4 (Hartman, Barry, Myers, Hensley).
Records: Northmont 3-2 (1-2), Miamisburg 3-2 (0-2).
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind