CLAYTON — It was a game that should never have been played and by game’s end the wind was howling and the snow was flying making driving treacherous, even for local Northmont fans.
Imagine the driving conditions Beavercreek faced as the team limped home in the horrendous weather conditions.
Northmont stormed out to an early lead and was ahead 29-22 at halftime, but the Beavers came storming back in the second half to out-score the Thunderbolts 29-25.
Free throw shooting saved the Thunderbolts from the Beavers’ second half scoring blizzard.
Dylan Hitchcock, who led Northmont with 19 points and six rebounds, sank seven of eight free throws and went six for six from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
“Our lead indicators are three areas. We look at how many offensive rebounds we give up every night, free throws and the amount of turnovers we commit,” said Northmont coach Darnell Hoskins.
“We had 15 turnovers, which is an improvement and at the line we were 17 of 26 tonight, which is also an improvement, but we gave up 15 offensive rebounds, which is not an improvement, so we improved in two areas and that shows progression,” Hoskins said.
He noted that he has a young team and hopes it will improve by one percent in the areas that matter with each game.
“Part of the gig in coaching a young team is that you are going to make some mistakes, and we made some mistakes,” Hoskins added. “We were up double figures in the second half and we haven’t quite figured out how to elongate the lead and be patient and not turn the ball over. It’s just part of the process.”
Dorian Brew scored a pair of first quarter buckets, including a slam-dunk, and Cedric Works blocked a Beavercreek shot at the end of the period with Northmont leading 12-9.
Chermak Green (12 points) buried a three-point shot, Hitchcock scored inside and Da’lin Wilkins (18 points) hit a trifecta to give the Thunderbolts a 20-9 advantage early in the second quarter.
Northmont maintained a 12 point advantage until the Beavers got a pair of free throws from Liam Gluck (19 points) and a three-pointer by Kyle Putnam at the buzzer to close the gap to 29-22 at halftime.
The Thunderbolts opened up a 14 point advantage in the third quarter before Isaiah Williams (22 points) scored twice and Gluck added another basket to cut Northmont’s lead to 41-34 entering the fourth quarter.
The Beavers outscored the Thunderbolts 27-22 in the final frame with Williams accounting for 14 of Beavercreek’s points.
Williams sank a pair of free throws with 35 seconds left to pull Beavercreek to within two, 60-58. Hitchcock sank two free throws and D.J. Williams sank one of two to put Northmont up 63-61 with 14.8 seconds left.
After a Beavers’ timeout a last gasp shot missed the mark as the Thunderbolts held on for the two point victory.
Northmont extended its win streak to three games to improve to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in Greater Western Ohio Conference play while Beavercreek fell to 3-5 and 2-3.
BVC 09 13 12 27 – 61
NMT 12 17 12 22 – 63
Beavercreek: Kyle Putnam 2-2-7, Daniel Jefferson 1-0-2, Liam Gluck 6-7-19, Kaden Ellerbe 3-1-7, Owen Roether 1-0-2, Isaiah Williams 9-6-22, Lance Caswell 1-0-2. Totals: 23-16-61.
Northmont: Dylan Hitchcock 6-7-19, Chermak Green 3-5-12, D.J. Williams 2-0-5, Da’lin Wilkins 7-3-18, Dorian Brew 2-2-6, Deuce Cortner 0-1-1, Cedric Works 1-0-2. Totals: 21-18-63.
Three-point field goals: Beavercreek 1 (Putnam); Northmont 3 (Green, Wilkins, Williams).
Records: Beavercreek 3-5 (2-3), Northmont 3-6 (2-4).
Ron Nunnari can be reached at (937) 684-9124, or via email at [email protected]
By Ron Nunnari [email protected]