GREENVILLE — Northmont’s pressure defense forced numerous Greenville turnovers on Friday and propelled the Thunderbolts to an 86-75 season-opening victory.
Northmont led for most of Friday’s game but trailed early in the first quarter when Greenville’s Kyle Mills drained a pair of 3-pointers and knocked down a free throw to put the Green Wave up 7-5.
Ryan Foy scored to knot the score at 7-7 then with 5:53 remaining in the first quarter Donavin Wallace made a basket to put the Bolts up 9-7 – a lead they never relinquished.
Northmont led 23-19 at the end of the first quarter and increased its lead to double digits, 30-20, early in the second quarter.
Leading 30-24, the Thunderbolts switched to a half-court trap and caused numerous problems for the Wave. Northmont took advantage of Greenville’s turnover issues and went on a 13-0 run to increase its lead to 43-24 before the Wave began to regroup.
By the time the half ended, Northmont increased its lead even further to 50-30.
Down by 20 points, Greenville refused to go away and outscored Northmont 27-20 in the third quarter to reduce its deficit to 70-57.
Greenville continued to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter and had Northmont’s lead down to 6 points, 73-67, with 5:27 remaining in the game.
However, Northmont held of the Greenville charge with scoring from Dawson Walker, Wallace, Foy and Jabari Perkins to win by 11 points, 86-75.
Noah Walker led Greenville with a game-high 18 points in Friday’s season opener. Also for the Green Wave, Mills scored 17 points, Tyler Beyke scored 13, Noah Vanhorn scored 12, Marcus Wood scored 10, Grant Minnich scored 3, and Will Coomer scored 2.
Perkins led Northmont with 17 points on Friday. Also for the Thunderbolts, Foy scored 16 points, Wallace scored 14, Walker scored 14, Danny Lewis scored 8, Kameron Mathis scored 8, Cameron Rucker scored 3, Corey Gay scored 2, Jamaal Linson scored 2, and Di’Talian Rayford scored 2.
Northmont improved to 1-0 this season with Friday’s win while Greenville fell to 0-1. The Thunderbolts will play host to Stebbins in their home opener on Tuesday.