MADISON TWP. — Northridge High School senior Twon Hines wanted no part of watching Madison celebrate an outright Southwestern Buckeye League title on his watch.
The leading scorer in the SWBL Buckeye Division, Hines poured in 23 points and a dagger late 3-pointer as the Polar Bears pulled off a stunning 58-56 boys basketball victory Friday night in a front of a packed house at Madison.
“I knew I had to be the one to take the last shot,” Hines said. “I do that. I expect that out of myself. We knew we were going to come here and win. I trust my teammates, and they trust me. We know we are going to get it done every time.”
FRIDAY NIGHT BASKETBALL COVERAGE
Hines’ game-winner was set up after the Mohawks committed their third turnover in the last 50 seconds, losing a three-point lead and their first league game. Following a Northridge timeout, Hines calmly dribbled up the court, pulled up and let loose a deep shot that found nothing but net.
“We were refusing to lose,” Hines said. “I saw them playing around, goofing off in the hallway. They were taking it as a joke, thinking they were going to run all over us.”
Madison coach Jeff Smith was left shaking his head over the miscues in the last minute after six straight Grant Whisman free throws had given the hosts a 56-53 lead.
“You look at the meltdown in the last minute as the big key,” Smith said. “The turnovers late were big, and we didn’t hit foul shots. Up three at home with the ball … give them credit. They turned up the pressure. The late 3, that is just Twon Hines making a play. He is a great player.”
Whisman led the Mohawks with 18 points, and the 6-foot-7 junior snagged eight rebounds. He’s now at 1,042 career points after reaching the 1,000 plateau last Sunday against Meadowdale.
Senior Levi McMonigle had 15 points and 10 boards Friday, while Tristan Sipple chipped in 11 points, as the Mohawks slipped to 17-3 overall and 10-1 in the SWBL Buckeye.
Madison will close the SWBL season at Waynesville next Friday. The Spartans (14-6, 9-2) will be trying to get a share of the Buckeye championship.
“We needed a good road win heading into the tournament, and this was a big one,” Polar Bears coach Jeff Lisath said. “Madison is a very good basketball team, and this is a tough place to play.”
The Mohawks hit 17-of-44 from the field, but turned the ball over 12 times in the second half. Madison finished 18-of-25 from the foul line.
“They did a decent job on our big guys,” Smith said. “We just didn’t close it out when we had the lead late. They took advantage of our turnovers and came down and scored.”
Hines pulled down 11 boards and dished out seven assists for Northridge (13-6, 8-3). Charles Drewery was a monster on the glass, pulling down 15 rebounds while scoring 12 points, and Robbie Turner chipped in 10 points.
Northridge has now won eight games in a row since losing 62-51 to the Mohawks on Jan. 5. Lisath said his squad is healthy now and showing what it’s capable of.
“We started off the season down a few players, but now that we have everyone back, we are really starting to jell,” he added.
Lisath said Hines taking the last shot was no-doubter.
“We told him that is what he has to do,” Lisath said. “Put him in a position to win us the basketball game. He has been doing it all year.”
Madison hosts National Trail on Tuesday. Northridge will be at home against Preble Shawnee next Friday.
NORTHRIDGE (13-6, 8-3 SWBL Buckeye): Twon Hines 9 1 23; Robbie Turner 3 4 10; Charles Drewery 5 2 12; Darryl Story Jr. 1 0 2; Jared Lewis 2 2 7; Shawn Shehee 1 0 2; LaChone Hooper 1 0 2. Totals: 22-9-58
MADISON (17-3, 10-1 SWBL Buckeye): Matt Gomia 1 1 3; Jake Munafo 0 2 2; Tristan Sipple 4 1 11; Mason Whiteman 2 2 7; Grant Whisman 4 9 18; Levi McMonigle 6 3 15. Totals 17-18-56
3-pointers: N 5 (Hines 4, Lewis), M 4 (Sipple 2, Whiteman, Whisman)