MIAMISBURG — Northmont’s pathetic shooting from the charity stripe Friday night at Miamisburg proved costly as the Vikings pulled out a six point victory.
The Thunderbolts converted only four of 15 free throws and Miamisburg only fared slightly better, converting 11 of 23.
“Four of 15 from the foul line isn’t going to win you any basketball games,” said Northmont coach Shane Kincer. “They were all over the rim. It wasn’t like they were terrible looking shots; they just didn’t have enough to go in tonight. If we make two or three of those early and then we don’t necessarily have to foul late in the game.”
Selfish play also cost Northmont points. On multiple occasions when the Thunderbolts either came up with a steal or turnover, whatever player came up with the ball tried to take it coast-to-coast for a score without looking for an open teammate. More often than not the shot didn’t fall, and if someone got fouled, no luck at the foul line.
The Vikings jumped out to a 5-0 lead but Andrew White came off the bench to sink back-to-back treys to tie the game at 12-all by the end of the opening quarter.
Colin Murphy scored seven points in the second quarter to put Vikings up 28-21 at halftime.
Miamisburg held an 11 point advantage entering the fourth quarter and led by as many as 13 in the opening minute.
Patrick Ivory came up with a steal and scored. Jordan Smith blocked a shot and Trent Freeman scored to cut the deficit to 41-34 with five minutes left.
White buried a 3-pointer to cut the Vikings’ lead to 50-45 with 43 seconds left. After a Northmont timeout Alex Ball drew a foul from Stephen Kellum with a chance to boost the Miamisburg lead, but he missed both free throws.
Smith scored on the change of possession to pull the Bolts to within three, 50-47. In the closing seconds of the game the Vikings converted three of four free throws to seal a 53-47 victory.
“We got it down to three and had to give up a foul and they made both shots, and then we came down and missed a shot and we had to foul them again,” Kincer noted. “They sank one of two and we wound up losing by six points.”
Kincer was happy with how well his team competed despite their poor shooting at the foul line.
“I asked the kids all week just to be great teammates, play on the help line and not allow backdoor layups,” Kincer added. “I told them, ‘You guys are getting close.’ We didn’t give up a single uncontested layup at the rim because we had somebody there. I just gave them the message here a second ago, that if they continue to buy in they have an opportunity to win more games in postseason play than they did during the regular season.”
Northmont closes out regular season play with two home games: Tuesday vs. Lebanon and on Friday vs. Trotwood-Madison.
NMT 12 21 28 47 – 47
MBG 12 28 39 53 – 53
Northmont: Markus Allen 1-0-2, Patrick Ivory 4-2-10, Todd Gregory 2-0-4, Andrew White 3-0-9, Jordan Smith 6-1-13, Trent Freeman 3-0-6, Max Scott III 1-1-3. Totals: 20-4-47.
Miamisburg: Evan Logan 1-3-5, Luke Copsey 1-0-3, Evan Otteson 3-1-7, Anthony Coppock 5-0-10, Corey Fries 3-0-8, Alex Ball 2-4-8, Colin Murphy 3-3-10, Jackson McGohan 1-0-2. Totals: 19-11-53.
Three-point field goals: Northmont 3 (White 3); Miamisburg 4 (Fries 2, Copsey, Murphy).
Records: Northmont 1-19 (1-10), Miamisburg 14-6 (7-4).
JV score: Miamisburg 44 Northmont 37.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @RonNunnari