CENTERVILLE — Trailing Wayne by 15 at halftime Northmont’s boys basketball team stormed back with a strong second half rally in the Division I, Cincinnati III sectional Saturday at Centerville High School.
In the end, the Thunderbolts valiant effort came up short as Wayne walked away with a narrow 59-55 victory.
The Warriors advance to face Carroll, which defeated Troy 52-35 in the early game Saturday.
Wayne improves to 12-11 overall while Northmont ends its season with a record of 1-22.
Patrick Ivory led the Thunderbolts with 20 points. Jordan Smith had 11 points, all in the second half.
Northmont outscored Wayne 16-10 in the third quarter to trail by nine entering the fourth quarter.
Markus Allen buried a three-point field goal to open the final quarter to cut Wayne’s lead to 43-37. Stephen Kellum then scored to cut the Warriors’ lead to 43-39 prompting Wayne to call timeout with 7:02 remaining.
Ivory sank a pair of free throws to close the gap to 47-45. With Wayne leading by five, Ivory drew his fifth foul with 2:57 left.
Malcolm Curry scored immediately after Ivory fouled out to boost the Warriors’ lead to 54-47.
Smith muscled through the lane to score and drew a foul from Curry. Smith sank the bonus shot to cut Wayne’s lead to four.
Senior Andrew White came off the bench to bury a trey to cut Wayne’s lead to 54-53 with 1:32 remaining.
“White came in and hit a big shot off the bench,” said Northmont coach Shane Kincer. “I was just telling the guys, the one thing about that kid is that he accepted his role all year and never complained one time. Because he did that when he had the opportunity to hit a big shot he did and I couldn’t be more proud of him hitting that shot.”
Cam Fancher drew a foul after White’s trey and sank one of two free throws to give the Warriors a two point cushion.
On the ensuing change of possession Lawrent Rice came up with a steal near midcourt and took the ball in for a dunk to boost Wayne’s lead to 57-53.
Freshman Tyrin Sturdivant scored with three seconds left to cut Wayne’s lead to a basket, but after a timeout the Thunderbolts had to quickly foul if they had any hope of tying or winning the game.
Curry drew the foul and sank both free throws to secure a 59-55 victory.
“We got down by 15 early but we never quit,” Kincer added. “A lot of 1-21 teams would have just folded but you can’t say that about these guys. I think the future is bright. We just have to figure out a couple of little things and we will be OK.”
WAY 11 33 43 59 – 59
NMT 10 18 34 55 – 55
Wayne: Cam Fancher 4-1-11, Brendan Hill 3-0-6, Malcolm Curry 3-6-12, Elijah Brown 2-1-5, Ben Palma 4-0-11, James Cammon 1-0-2, Jalen Orwig 2-0-4, Lawrent Rice 3-2-8. Totals: 22-10-59.
Northmont: Markus Allen 3-0-7, Tyrin Sturdivant 1-0-2, Patrick Ivory 8-3-20, Andrew White 2-0-6, Jordan Smith 5-1-11, Trent Freeman 3-0-6, Stephen Kellum 1-1-3. Totals: 23-5-55.
Three-point field goals: Wayne 5 (Ben Palma 3, Cam Fancher 2); Northmont 4 (White 2, Allen, Ivory).
Records: Wayne 12-11, Northmont 1-22.
Reach Ron Nunnari at (937) 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @RonNunnari