CLAYTON — Northmont held a dedication ceremony Friday for its new athletics wing featuring the girls and boys varsity basketball teams hosting West Carrollton.
The girls opened the evening’s festivities with a 76-17 victory and the boys followed with an 84-50 win over the Pirates.
This was the first boys varsity game in the new ‘Thunderdome.’ The Thunderbolts broke in their new home by totally dominating the Pirates. For the second game in a row Northmont’s defense harassed the opponent mercilessly as the Thunderbolts came up with 29 steals, several of which came in the Pirates’ back court that Northmont converted into quick scores.
Northmont jumped out to a 29-9 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back.
It was a fitting way for the the Thunderbolts to christen their new basketball arena, which seats just under 2,300 fans. A crowd of about 1,500 came out to witness the game and to celebrate a new era in Northmont history.
“The first thing I want to say, and I think it needs to be said, is a huge thank you to the Northmont community,” said Coach Collin Abels. “This is a state of the art athletic and academic facility. As someone who has lived in the Northmont area all of my life, this evening is a proud moment to see what the community has provided us. I told our guys at the very beginning of the game, never take special for granted. I told them that they were going be the first boys basketball to ever play in that gym, and that is special. It’s something we are entirely grateful for and thankful that the Northmont community has afforded us the opportunity to play in this facility.
“I thought the turnout was great, the band was great, the students were great and it was great to see community members in the stands tonight that we haven’t seen in awhile,” Abels added. “The other thing I told the kids tonight was, let’s give the fans a reason to come back and I think the way we played will helpfully do that.”
Jarell Taylor led Northmont with 21 points followed by Rodney Richardson with 19 while Jabari Perkins and Jason Biggs both had 10 points.
The Thunderbolts continued their struggles at the free throw line sinking 13 of 27 shots, which would have been a factor against a tough opponent. Northmont’s defense is proving to be the team’s strength so far this season. The team’s speed, quickness and aggressive play is giving opponents fits as they try to get the ball out of the back court.
“We got a ton of steals,” Abels noted. “Our kids are starting to get more and more comfortable and confident in the press and when you play like that you have to be ball hungry. You’ve got to want the ball and I think our guys are getting more and more consistent with the press and are getting after the ball. I thought there was a stretch early in the first half where we played as good as any Northmont team has played in a long time in terms of sheer effort and execution and sharing the basketball.”
The Thunderbolts play at Fairmont on Friday and then host Troy on Saturday when the Northmont Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held prior to the game.
WSC 09 25 36 50 – 50
NMT 29 53 74 84 – 84
West Carrollton: Vashaun Champion 15, Josh Van Seyor 2, Brian Jones 2, Taylan King 12, Reggie Landers 4, Ryan Custenborder 3, Chris Brunner 3, Ruben Maull 4, Kyle Taylor 3, Danny Price 2. Totals:14-21-50.
Northmont: Jarell Taylor 21, Myles Tanner 6, Jabari Perkins 10, Rodney Richardson 19, Vinson Walker 6, Arius Spears 3, Ryan Foy 2, Jason Biggs 10, Kameron Thurmond 7. Totals: 33-13-84.
Three point goals: West Carrollton 1 (King); Northmont 5 (Perkins 2, Biggs 2, Taylor).
Records: West Carrollton 0-2, Northmont 2-1.
Jabari Perkins scores a 3-pointer during the first quarter against West Carrollton.
Myles Tanner goes up for a layup.
Jarell Taylor muscles inside for a basket against Ryan Custenborder.
Rodney Richardson fights his way past Ryan Custenborder.
Arius Spears drives between Pirates’ defenders Ruben Maull (left) and Josh Van Seyor.