By Andrew Wilson Special Correspondent
February 25, 2014
VANDALIA — Northmont boys basketball coach Collin Abels could still recall the T-Bolts’ 10-point victory over Xenia on Nov. 30, a game in which the Buccaneers caught fire from behind the arc by hitting 13 3-pointers.
The Bucs picked up right where they left off by connecting on 16 3-pointers in Saturday’s Division I sectional opener at Butler High’s Student Activities Center, but it wasn’t enough in an 85-76 overtime loss.
The Bucs also found other ways be impactful from beyond the arc as Khyiani Harris got fouled on a 3-pointer attempt with two seconds remaining and buried all three free throws to send the game into overtime.
The momentum shift to the Buccaneers was short lived, however, as Northmont’s Jordan Lowery hit a go-ahead layup and the T-Bolts closed the game on an 11-2 run to defeat the Buccaneers. Following Lowery’s layup, the T-Bolts pulled away by making 7-of-8 free throws, in addition to a layup by forward Isaiah Williams. Xenia only connected on one of three shots in overtime and had two shots blocked.
“We’ve been struggling with shooting the ball lately,” Xenia coach Kent Anderson said. “But we got good shots. We made the extra pass, we found the guys that were hot and kept getting them the ball. And we stepped up and made a lot of shots, we looked very comfortable shooting the basketball. But unfortunately, we didn’t get enough stops at the defensive end.”
The Bucs buried five 3-pointers in the first quarter, five in the second quarter, three in the third quarter and three in the fourth. Despite the hot shooting, the T-Bolts took a 39-34 lead into halftime and led for most of the third quarter before Xenia guard Jaylin Cumberland buried a 3-pointer from the right corner to give the Bucs a 54-53 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Xenia ends its season with an overall record of 7-15.
“I’ve got very mixed emotions, because we’ve got four seniors that are playing their last game today, and I feel bad for them,” Anderson said. “I like some of the kids that we have coming back, some of the kids that we have coming up through our program, and I think we’ve got some good young players that will be back in Khyiani Harris and Rocky James are two great examples. I mean look at the games they had as a junior and sophomore, so that bodes well for the future.”