VANDALIA — A total of nineteen 3-point field goals were scored Friday night at Butler between Northmont and Fairborn in the first round of the boys Division I sectional tournament.
Northmont scored nine and Fairborn 10, but the Thunderbolts emerged with a solid 69-47 victory. Senior Jabari Perkins had the hot hand scoring 24 points to lead Northmont to victory. Perkins and junior Danny Lewis each scored a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to help the Thunderbolts take a 19-10 lead.
Senior Cameron Rucker got in on the act with a pair of treys in the second quarter with Perkins tacking on his third 3-pointer of the night. Freshman Prophet Johnson, who stepped up with four first quarter points, scored four more in the second stanza to help Northmont take a 34-23 lead at halftime. The Thunderbolts had four players score in double figures for the night.
When the Bolts weren’t scoring they were playing pressure defense and came up with 24 steals to create plenty of offensive opportunities.
“I was happy to see four guys hit double figures,” Northmont Coach Collins Abels said. “We were missing a couple of players, one out with an injury and one out with the flu tonight. I thought we won the game on the defensive end of the floor. We shot the ball well. Jabari and our other seniors play their best ball when it becomes tournament time. I was so happy for Jabari. Cameron Rucker did a great job defensively on Fairborn’s best player, Shaun Monroe, and Danny Lewis did a great job filling in at point guard playing the entire game at the point.”
Unlike most of its games during the second half of the season Northmont did not suffer from a third quarter letdown. The Thunderbolts came out with the same level of intensity that it displayed in the first half. Perkins came up with a steal and took the ball in for a layup. Dawson Walker blocked a shot; Perkins came up with another steal and dished the ball to Johnson for the basket.
Fairborn got back-to-back 3-pointers from Joe Nickel after each of Perkins’ steals. Lewis followed Nickel’s second trey with a basket; Perkins scored on a baseline drive and then buried his fourth 3-pointer of the night to put Northmont up 45-29 with Fairborn calling timeout with 2:55 left in the third quarter to try to regroup.
When play resumed Lewis nailed a trey, Perkins drew a foul and converted both free throws and Rucker closed out the Bolts’ third quarter scoring to put Northmont up 52-31 entering the final quarter.
“Defense is where you win games,” Abels added. “Defensively we played really well. We rebounded the basketball well and it also helps when you make shots.”
With the victory Northmont advances to face Centerville on Tuesday at Butler at 6 p.m.
FBN 10 23 31 47 – 47
NMT 19 34 52 69 – 69
Fairborn: Tarik Yagmurkaya 0-1-1, Shaun Monroe 5-0-13, O.J. Person 2-1-5, K.J. Redmon 3-0-8, Jordan Greene 0-1-1, Jarod Bodekor 2-0-2, Joe Nickel 4-0-12, Bailey Snapp 1-0-3, Tylen Eatmon 0-2-2. Totals: 16-5-47.
Northmont: Dawson Walker 4-2-10, Jabari Perkins 9-2-24, Cameron Rucker 3-0-8, Danny Lewis 4-1-12, Patrick Ivory 1-0-2, Prophet Johnson 5-1-11, Justin Golson 0-2-2. Totals: 26-8-69.
3-point goals: Fairborn 10 (Nickel 4, Monroe 3, Redmon 2, Snapp); Northmont (Perkins 4, Lewis 3, Rucker 2).
Records: Fairborn 9-14, Northmont 11-12.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind