By Ron Nunnari – Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com
TROY — After two dominant performances in the sectional tournament against Piqua and West Carrollton, two teams that won a combined total six games during the season, Wayne continued to steamroll its way to a 74-38 victory over Northmont in the sectional final Friday at Troy High School.
Wayne took a 6-0 lead and built a 15-4 advantage by the end of the first quarter. Northmont couldn’t convert on its first five shots from the floor and didn’t score until Erin Mangen drew a foul from Nyla Hampton to sink the front end of one-and-one.
Three sophomores scored Wayne’s first three buckets of the game. Destiny Bohanon scored the Lady Warriors first bucket followed by scores by center Mali Morgan-Elliott and another by Dominique Camp. Junior Maya Dunson buried a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc to close out the first quarter to set the tone for the rest of the game.
Junior 6-foot, 2-inch center Shai McGruder scored six second quarter points, Dunson nailed another trey and the Wayne defense limited Northmont to a single basket as the Lady Warriors opened up a commanding 38-6 halftime lead. Freshman Nyla Hampton came up with a pair of steals and Camp added another as Wayne’s defense kept Northmont totally out of synch.
“This game was important because we had to come out showing that our defensive intensity was what was actually going to drive us throughout this game and hopefully for a victory, and it did just that,” said Wayne Coach Sonya Miller.
She was also pleased with her team’s ability to score both inside the paint as well as from the perimeter.
“Our girls shoot the ball very well. That’s one of the things you can love about this team,” Miller added. “Usually we have balanced scoring, but if not, one makes up for the other along the way. We were just clicking on all cylinders tonight and it just felt pretty good to watch them play.”
Northmont outscored Wayne 7-2 to open the third quarter to cut the deficit to 40-15 but the Lady Warriors still held a huge lead, 55-20, entering the final eight minutes of play.
Erin Mangen, who led Northmont with 15 points, nailed a trio of 3-pointers in the final period. Salena Roberts scored a pair of second half treys to finish with 11 points, but at that point Wayne had pulled many of its starters. Even in doing so, Wayne still had plenty of scoring threats. Brooke Starrett came off the bench and nailed a 3-pointer when she was left wide open.
It was a frustrating finish for a Northmont team that went deeper into tournament play than any other since the 2000 season.
“Obviously they are a really athletic team. They should go very far in the tournament,” said Northmont Coach Bethany Kincer. “I am proud of the girls for sticking it out. We shot nine percent in the first half. We couldn’t make a shot. We just couldn’t make them. We came out in the second half and continued to play hard and ended up outscoring Wayne in the second half. We played hard and we went out on a good note. This is, if I am correct and someone can correct me if I am wrong, this is the best and the farthest we’ve gone in a tournament since 2000. Most of these kids weren’t even alive then, so they have a lot to be proud of.”
Kincer was pleased with the leadership senior players Antonette Dorsey and Erin Mangen provided.
“The seniors did a great job relaying the expectations of our program from here on out,” Kincer added. “Erin and Antonette had an awesome season and I am really proud of both of them. We are definitely going to miss their presence on the team next year.”
Northmont ends its season with an overall record of 11-14. Wayne improves to 20-4 and advances to district play to face either Mount Notre Dame or Glen Este on Saturday, March 4 at Princeton High School.
NMT 04 06 20 38 – 38
WAY 15 38 55 74 – 74
Northmont: Jenna Hoschouer 4, Anna Mangen 2, Antonette Dorsey 2, Salena Roberts 11, Erin Mangen 15, Shalaya Heath 4. Totals: 15-1-38.
Wayne: Dominique Camp 6, Nyla Hampton 5, Brooke Starrett 3, Kiara Herring 2, Kyra Willis 7, Mali Morgan-Elliott 9, Deja Scott 3, Destiny Bohanon 8, Olivia Trice 4, Shai McGruder 16, Maya Dunson 11. Totals: 29-12-74.
3-point goals: Northmont 7 (E. Mangen 4, Roberts 3); Wayne 4 (Dunson 3, Starrett).
Records: Northmont 11-14, Wayne 20-4.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind