SPRINGFIELD — After scoring key division wins against Beavercreek and Centerville the Northmont varsity basketball team got hammered Friday by Central Division rival Springfield 83-55.
The Wildcats had lost their previous game 73-54 to non-conference opponent Massillon Jackson 73-54 and had not performed as well as expected in other recent games. That, coupled with the Thunderbolts still in sort of a celebratory mood after its recent success, was a recipe for disaster.
Springfield held the T-Bolts leading scorer Jason Biggs to just 14 points and no other Northmont player broke double figures.
“We didn’t have the same sense of focus in practice this week that we had last week,” said Coach Colin Abels. “I had a feeling that we were going to be facing a pretty angry basketball team. Springfield had some early success and beat some very good basketball teams out of Columbus but in their last three games they had not played well. We played out of sorts and tried to do things that we are either not good at or not our roles on the team, especially early on.”
As a result Springfield jumped out to an early 13-0 lead. Northmont managed to fight its way back into the game but trailed 40-26 at halftime. The Thunderbolts managed to cut that lead to single digits a few times in the third quarter before the Wildcats pulled away.
“They were just a much tougher basketball team,” Abels said.
He pointed out that 28 of Springfield’s 29 two point attempts came inside the paint or at the rim.
“When you get easy shots like that defensively you just put yourself in a bind and offensively we just settled for jump shots,” Abels added. “I felt that for the first time all year we decided to take the path of least resistance, deciding not to go inside against their big boys. It was kind of disappointing the way we played after a quality victory the week before.”
With the win Springfield improved to 10-4 overall and 3-2 in division play while Northmont fell to 8-6 and 3-2.
Danny Davis led the Wildcats with 24 points, Darius Harper had 19 and 10 rebounds, Jeremiah Ward scored 16 with eight rebounds and Michael McKay 12 points and eight assists. Springfield had 48 rebounds compared to Northmont’s 28 and shot 50 percent from the floor while the Thunderbolts shot 38.6 percent.
NMT 10 26 46 55 – 55
SPR 19 40 67 83 – 83
Northmont: Myles Tanner 1, Jason Biggs 14, Christian Wilson 4, Arius Spears 6, Jarell Taylor 9, Jabari Perkins 5, Rodney Richardson 7, Dalonte Capers 7, Donavin Wallace 2. Totals: 22-5-55.
Springfield: Michael McKay 12, Danny Davis 24, Antwuan Johnson 6, Darius Harper 19, Brayden Underwood 4, Leonard Taylor 2, Jeremiah Ward 16. Totals: 34-11-83.
3-point goals: Northmont 6 (Biggs 4, Taylor, Perkins); Springfield 4 (McKay 2, Davis 2).
Records: Northmont 8-6 (3-2), Springfield 10-4 (3-2).