The Tuesday night struggles of the boys basketball team this year has been no secret. The tournament game against Northmont on Tuesday night this week seemed like it was going to be another one of those nights early in the game.
The Elks came out flat and were held scoreless for almost the first half of the quarter. When the Thunderbolts increased their lead to 10-3, Coach Cupps called timeout to reorganize and try to light a fire under his team. The deficit grew to nine, 14-5, before the Elks closed the first quarter on a 4-0 run to trail only 14-9. The deficit felt like it should have been much bigger based on the way the two teams had played to that point which had to give the Elks a jolt of confidence. As the second quarter got underway, the Elks began to find their range and their defense and transition game kicked in as well to help the cause. Davis Mumaw went 3-3 from behind the arc and the Elks outscored Northmont 21-11 in the second quarter to take a 30-235 lead to the locker room. The third quarter was all about defense for the Elks as they held the T’Bolts to just five points and stretched their lead to 14, 44-30, with just eight minutes left in the game. The fourth quarter was a little more stressful than all Elks fans had hoped for as Northmont was able to pull within four on two different occasions. The Elks were able to fight off the challenge and hit some key free throws down the stretch to earn a 63-52 victory. Donovan Shelton led four Elks in double figures with 14. He was joined by Davis Mumaw (13), Jevon Henderson (12) and Ryan Marchal (10).
Now 13-10 on the year, the Elks advance to the District Semifinals on Friday night where they will play the Wayne Warriors. Wayne won both games during the regular season (46-42 at Centerville and 52-49 in Huber Heights). Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM at Butler High School and the game will be live streamed by Spectrum at www.myspectrumsports.com.