CLAYTON — Northmont had division leading Miamisburg on the ropes in the fourth quarter but misfired on three consecutive possessions. The Vikings answered with three consecutive scores to overcome a two point deficit to build a five point lead.
The Thunderbolts never recovered as the Vikings walked away with a 68-61 win.
Northmont trailed by 11 after the first quarter but cut the Vikings’ lead to eight at the half. The Thunderbolts took a 3-0 lead on their second possession of the game on a 3-pointer by senior Jabari Perkins. After that the Vikings held the lead until 5:21 remained. Donavin Wallace scored and drew a foul from Duncan Hall. Wallace sank the bonus shot to put Northmont up 51-50. Wallace then came up with a steal, drove the length of the court to score again to boost the lead to 53-50 with 5:05 left.
Brett Hensley scored inside and Jason Hubbard (27 points) buried his fifth trey of the night to put the Vikings back on top, 55-54 with 3:21 remaining. Northmont then failed to score on its next three possessions to swing the momentum in Miamisburg’s favor.
Savon O’Neal drove the baseline to score after Northmont’s first miss and on the next possession the 5-foot, 8-inch sophomore guard managed to score over 6-foot, 6-inch Dawson Walker. Hall scored after Northmont’s third missed scoring opportunity to boost the Vikings lead to 61-54.
Northmont got baskets by Wallace and Perkins to cut Miamisburg’s lead to 61-58 with just under a minute to play. The Vikings converted seven of eight free throws down the stretch to secure the seven point win.
“I told the guys I was very proud because I thought they showed a ton of courage and a lot of resolve in the second half,” said Northmont Coach Collin Abels. “I felt like we outplayed them for a good portion of the second half. I felt like we executed better on both ends of the floor and we were able to, for a stretch there, to guard their two best players a little bit better and create some turnovers and get some baskets in transition. Give credit to Miamisburg. They called timeout when we were up by three and like you said they go three or four possessions in a row getting baskets and went three or four without getting one.”
Despite the loss Abels was pleased his team was able to give the division leading Vikings a run for their money.
“Our team last year, they always had that air of confidence no matter what the situation was to make enough plays to win a game, and I felt like Miamisburg had that confidence about them tonight,” Abels added. “Again, I didn’t feel like we played to the best of our ability in the first half but I felt like in the second half we showed a lot of courage and a lot of fight. If that is one of the top three or four basketball teams in the Dayton area this year, then we are able to compete with anybody.”
Northmont hosts Beavercreek Saturday night for its final game of the regular season and faces Fairborn in sectional tournament play Friday, Feb. 23 at Butler High School at 6 p.m.
MBG 13 26 44 61 – 61
NMT 24 34 46 68 – 68
Miamisburg: Jason Hubbard 9-4-27, Corey Hartman 0-1-1, Savon O’Neal 2-0-4, Drew Barry 1-2-4, Brett Hensley 4-4-13, Dane Hall 0-2-2, Duncan Hall 6-5-17. Totals: 22-18-68.
Northmont: Dawson Walker 5-2-13, Jabari Perkins 5-0-12, Donavin Wallace 5-2-13, Jamaal Linson 4-3-13, Ifeanyi Nwanoro 3-0-6, Danny Lewis 2-0-4. Totals: 24-7-61.
3-point goals: Miamisburg 6 (Hubbard 5, Hensley); Northmont 6 (Perkins 2, Linson 2, Walker, Wallace).
Records: Miamisburg 18-4 (7-4), Northmont 9-12 (1-9).
JV Score: Miamisburg 51 Northmont 41.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind