By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
VANDALIA — A rough final game of the regular season for the Troy girls basketball team carried over into the postseason.
Northmont, meanwhile, rode the momentum from its finale to a tournament win.
The No. 9 Thunderbolts began the game on a 12-0 run, forcing 10 first-quarter and 19 first-half turnovers and holding the No. 7 Trojans to only three first-half field goals en route to a 59-28 Northmont victory over Troy in the first round of the Division I sectional tournament Saturday night at Butler High School.
The Trojans, who lost the final game of the regular season 69-28 at Covington, finished the season 14-9. The last time Troy won 14 games was the 2011-12 season. The last time the Trojans won more than that was when they went 15-7 the previous season, 2010-11. The last time Troy faced Northmont was Dec. 12, 2015, a 46-38 loss.
Northmont, which finished the regular season by winning two of its last four games, including a big 61-27 victory over Miamisburg in the finale, improved to 11-12 and advances to face No. 4 Beavercreek Tuesday in the second round. Beavercreek routed Butler 55-19 earlier Saturday.
And from the opening tip, it was evident Troy’s offensive woes from that regular season finale against Covington hadn’t gone away, as Troy turned the ball over 10 times in the opening quarter — and Northmont was off to the races. Katie McCrary scored three fast-break layups after T-Bolt steals, while Troy was 0 for its first 11 before Macie Taylor finally connected with 12 seconds left in the quarter to make the score 12-2 Northmont — but Dasia Turner scored a late putback to put the T-Bolts up 14-2 after one.
Morgan Kaiser began the second quarter with a steal and layup for Troy, but after that it was more of the same as Northmont forced nine second-quarter turnovers and held Troy to only one more field goal before halftime, building a 23-6 lead at the break.
Northmont led by as many as 22 in the third before Troy went on a 6-0 run. Lauren McGraw hit a jumper on an in-bounds play to cut the lead to 31-11, then Macie Taylor hit back-to-back buckets to get Troy to 31-15. But a Northmont steal led to a McCrary layup, then McCrary hit a jumper to push the lead back to 20. Turner then hit a free throw and Shalaya Heath hit a putback on the missed second attempt as the T-Bolts held a 38-17 lead after three.
Northmont then scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to put the finishing touches on a 15-0 run and coasted to the win from there.
McCrary finished with a game-high 15 points for Northmont and Camryn Nadir added 14 points. Heath added six points and eight rebounds, Gabby Kline had six points, Turner and Makayla Cooper each scored five and Amari Bradford and Jacquel Bronaugh each had four.
MaKenna Taylor hit a pair of second-half 3s to lead Troy with eight points. Tia Bass had four points and four rebounds, Morgan Kaiser added five, McGraw had four points and eight rebounds, Macie Taylor finished with four points as Troy committed 35 turnovers in the game.
Josh Brown is the Sports Editor of the Troy Daily News. Contact him at email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.