CLAYTON — Northmont’s girls basketball team turned in one of its best defensive performances in years to overcome an 11 point deficit Monday against undefeated Bellbrook. In the end the Lady Bolts couldn’t come up with a 3-point field goal when it counted and ended up losing 42-37.
Trailing 17-8 after the first period and 21-10 midway through the second quarter Northmont rallied quickly on a 3-point basket by Cory Mangen, a basket and free throw by Ashley Jones and a baseline basket by Alexia Payne to cut Bellbrook’s lead to 21-18 at the half.
Northmont battled hard in the third quarter and eventually took a 30-29 lead on a basket by Anna Mangen but the
Lady Eagles got a pair of free throws from Cassidy Bereda to take a 31-30 lead by quarter’s end.
Erin Mangen hit a 3-pointer to tie the game 33-33 and then scored a basket off a steal by Anna Mangen to tie it again 35-35 with 5:22 remaining, but from there Northmont’s offense could only generate one more score. Denissa Sly scored with 44 seconds remaining to cut Bellbrook’s lead to 40-37. After Bellbrook missed a pair of free throws Northmont came down the floor looking to tie the game with a 3-pointer and got off two shots but couldn’t get the ball to drop. Stephanie Dorn controlled the rebound for Bellbrook on the Lady Bolts’ final shot and drew a foul. Dorn knocked down both foul shots to make the final score 42-37.
With the victory Bellbrook improves to 5-0 while Northmont fell to 3-2.
Bellbrook took three times as many shots from the free throw line as the Lady Bolts converting 17 of 27 while Northmont went 4 for 9.
“Overall, I think that’s the best our defense has played,” said Northmont Coach Bethany Kincer. “As a coaching staff we couldn’t be more proud to see where our defense is going, because that’s what is going to get us a win. Offensively we just have to execute a little better. We had some girls step up tonight and helped to keep us in the game that have not been a scoring threat for us. Erin Mangen knocked down a couple of threes for us that really kept us in the game and had Bellbrook worried about her. Anna Mangen crashed the boards like it was her job. She was in the right spot at the right time and pulled down six offensive rebounds for us. It’s nice to see those players step up when we need them to and nice to see our defense play so well. For us to play good defense against a fundamentally sound offense like Bellbrook’s is very promising.”
BEL 17 20 31 42 – 42
NMT 09 18 30 37 – 37
Bellbrook: Cassidy Bereda 2, Cassidy Hofacker 5, Bekah Vine 14, Gabby Ozoude 5, Gabby Boyer 13, Stephanie Dorn 3. Totals: 11-17-42.
Northmont: Cory Mangen 3, Anna Mangen 8, Ashley Jones 3, Erin Mangen 9, Denissa Sly 6, Shalaya Heath 4, Alexia Payne 4. Totals: 15-4-37.
Three point goals: Bellbrook 3 (Vine); Northmont 3 (E. Mangen 2, C. Mangen).
Records: Bellbrook 5-0, Northmont 3-2.
Erin Mangen knocked down a pair of 3-pointers Monday against Bellbrook.