TROTWOOD — If not for Shai McGruder running wild in the first quarter when she scored almost half of her game-leading 33 points, Northmont might have emerged victorious Thursday at Trotwood-Madison.
Northmont made adjustments in the second quarter to limit McGruder to four points. Trotwood got eight points from Sha’ Mya Leigh, including a pair of 3-pointersm and Mercedes Woodward scored six in the fourth quarter as Trotwood held on to post a 72-63 victory.
Trotwood went on an 8-0 run with McGruder coming up with a steal and three consecutive baskets to put the Lady Rams up 17-8. Northmont got a free throw and a 3-pointer from Makayla Cooper (20 points) and Kaitlyn McCrary got a rebound and scored to cut the deficit to 17-14. Trotwood held a nine point lead by quarter’s end but the Lady Bolts kept chipping away to cut Trotwood’s lead to 35-32 at the half.
Jenna Hoschouer scored back-to-back buckets inside the paint to tie the game 42-42 with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter. Trotwood regained the lead but Cooper buried a trey to tie the game at 51 late in the quarter but the Lady Rams held a two point advantage entering the final eight minutes of play.
Cooper buried another 3-pointer to put Northmont on top 54-53 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Leigh countered with a 3-pointer for Trotwood and added another trey about a minute later to put the Lady Rams up 60-54.
Northmont pulled to within four but Trotwood began to pull away. The Lady Rams scored a pair of baskets and converted six of eight from the foul line down the stretch to post a nine point victory.
“I didn’t take into account McGruder not going in for a rebound the entire first quarter and just taking off down the court to score multiple layups, and that’s what killed us,” said Northmont Coach Bethany Kincer. “We gave up multiple layups to her. She was wide open. She took off out of that 1-3-1, didn’t go in to rebound and that was the difference maker. I like the way we played. Defensively I think we communicated really well. We did a good job when we got set up in our defense on McGruder inside. It’s looking good for us going into the tournament, so we are excited.”
NMT 16 32 51 63 – 63
T—M 25 35 53 72 – 72
Northmont: Makayla Cooper 8-1-20, Kaitlyn McCrary 2-0-4, Jenna Hoschouer 3-1-7, Anna Mangen 1-0-3, Salena Roberts 3-3-9, Camryn Nadir 3-0-7, Shalaya Heath 4-5-13. Totals: 24-10-63.
Trotwood: Myla Barnes 1-2-4, Essence Thornton 0-2-2, Sha’ Mya Leigh 5-1-13, Mercedes Woodward 4-1-9, Millani King 0-1-1, Kellah Flucas 4-2-10, Shai McGruder 14-5-33. Totals: 28-14-72.
3-point goals: Northmont 5 (Cooper 3, Mangen, Nadir); Trotwood 2 (S. Leigh 2).
Records: Northmont 10-10, Trotwood 18-2.
JV Score: Northmont 44 Trotwood 40.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind