VANDALIA — Centerville’s crisp, rapid passes and players getting too many second chance shots lifted the Elks to a 63-52 victory Tuesday over Northmont in the boys Division I Sectional semifinal at Butler High School.
With the victory the Elks will face Wayne in the sectional final on Friday at 7 p.m., also at Butler.
Northmont took control of the game early and could have come away with a victory had it maintained the same level of intensity throughout the game. Danny Lewis buried a 3-pointer followed by another trey by Jabari Perkins. Perkins scored inside; Cameron Rucker came up with a steal, tossed the ball to Perkins who dished off to Prophet Johnson to put the Thunderbolts up 10-3.
Ryan Marchal scored for the Elks and Perkins buried another 3-pointer and Ifeanyi Nwanoro tacked on a free throw to give Northmont a solid 14-5 lead. After that the Elks got their act together.
Northmont led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter but left David Mumaw unguarded repeatedly in the second period. Mumaw knocked down a trio of 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the second stanza and Javon Henderson scored three baskets inside the paint to give Centerville a 30-25 halftime lead. The Elks held the lead the remainder of the game.
Centerville led by 14 after three quarters but Northmont managed to close the gap to five with just over two minutes remaining. Trailing by 10 Lewis drew a foul from Marchal on a 3-point attempt and converted all three free throws. Jamal Linson scored a 3-pointer and Lewis scored on a put-back following a steal by Dawson Walker to cut the Elks’ led to 53-48.
With time waning Northmont was forced to commit fouls and the Elks converted all eight of its shots from the charity stripe down the stretch. For the game Centerville converted 11 of 15 free throws. The Thunderbolts hit only 4 of 10 shots from the free throw line in the first half and converted just 11 of 21 for the game.
With the victory the Elks improved to 13-10 overall while Northmont ends its season with an 11-13 mark.
“We got off to a good start but they are a team that you have got to try to play with the lead as much as possible, because the minute they get the lead the game switches to their tempo and the style that they want to play,” Northmont Coach Collin Abels said. “They shot the ball really well in the first half which allowed them to get back into the game. In the second half we just got to the point where we had to take some chances to try to create some opportunities offensively through your defense. Centerville is well-coached. You are going to get a steal here and there and then they are going to beat you on a backdoor pass and get an easy shot at the rim and that is what they were able to do.”
The Elks ended up with four players in double figures. Donnie Shelton led Centerville with 14 points with David Mumaw tallying 13, Jevon Henderson 12 and Ryan Marchal 10. Centerville got a lot of put-back shots to keep the Thunderbolts at-bay.
“They shoot a lot a threes and you get worried about the threes, but it’s not the threes that beat you it’s those little short shots – the dump offs and the rebounds and layups at the rim and unfortunately we didn’t guard that as well as we are capable of,” Abels noted.
Danny Lewis led Northmont with 16; Jabari Perkins had 14 and Dawson Walker 10.
“I told the seniors, I hope they go and are ready for the next phase of their lives and find what they are looking for and hopefully the underclassmen live and learn from their experiences this year and find a way to take the leadership reigns as we head into next year,” Abels added.
NMT 14 25 30 52 – 52
CEN 09 30 44 63 – 63
Northmont: Cameron Rucker 2-0-5, Jamaal Linson 1-0-3, Donavin Wallace 1-0-3, Danny Lewis 4-6-16, Jabari Perkins 5-2-14, Ifeyani Nwanoro 0-1-1, Dawson Walker 4-2-10. Totals: 17-11-52.
Centerville: Matt Pearce 2-1-5, Donnie Shelton 5-3-14, Alec Grandin 3-3-9, Ryan Marchal 3-4-10, David Mumaw 5-0-13, Jevon Henderson 6-0-12. Totals: 24-11-63.
3-point goals: Northmont 7 (Lewis 2, Perkins 2, Linson, Rucker, Wallace); Centerville 4 (Mumaw 3, Shelton).
Records: Northmont 11-13, Centerville 13-10.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind