CENTERVILLE — The Northmont Lady Thunderbolt basketball team traveled to Centerville on Wednesday and came out with a lot of energy. Unfortunately, the Lady Bolts couldn’t translate that energy into points early in the game.
That left Northmont facing a 10-0 deficit just four minutes into the contest – a hole they could never climb out of in a 56-27 loss to the Lady Elks.
The defeat was the fourth straight loss for the Lady Bolts who fell to 6-8 oveall and 1-3 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference Central division. Centerville improved to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in the league.
The Elks jumped on Northmont early as the Lady Bolts struggled against pressure defense. Shots were at a premium in the first period, and it took the Bolts nearly six minutes to score. Shalaya Heath’s two free throws were the only points Northmont scored in the first period and they trailed 13-2 after a quarter.
“We really struggled in the first half really in just getting the ball up the court,” said Northmont head coach Bethany Kincer. “I’m not sure why, we worked on it all week in practice. We knew it was coming, and had to adjust to it, and we just didn’t make those adjustments on the court.”
Their first made basket of the game came with 6:20 left in the first half when Anna Mangen scored to cut Centerville’s lead to 15-4.
Northmont’s offense settled in, however, and scored six straight points on free throws by Anna Mangen and Erin Mangen and a basket by Heath to cut the Elk lead to nine at 19-10.
“I think things finally sank in after telling them the same things over and over again,” said Kincer. “This was a very physical game and we have to be much tougher and mentally strong and we decided in that stretch to be mentally strong and mentally tough. We have to do it the entire game to win.”
Centerville erased any hope of a Northmont comeback early in the third period with an 8-0 run that extended their lead to 31-14 with 3:22 left that forced Bolts’ coach Bethany Kincer to call time. Northmont trailed 36-21 at the end of three periods.
In the final quarter, Centerville fed Logan Brazile in the low post. Brazile, who led all scorers with 18 points, made 5-of-6 free throws in the period as well as two baskets as the Elks kept their lead at 17 or above the entire quarter. The Lady Bolts were held to just five free throws in the final frame.
Heath led the Bolts with nine points followed by Erin Mangen with six and Cory Mangen with five.
“We need five people to step up and be leaders,” said Kincer. “We are accepting these losses and someone has to step up and stop accepting things and start to change for Northmont basketball.”