CLAYTON — Shai McGruder dominated inside to score 17 first half points and ended the night with 19 to help lead Wayne to a 68-35 victory Thursday at Northmont.
With the win Wayne improved to 18-1 overall and 7-0 in Central Divison play in the Greater Western Ohio Conference while Northmont dropped to 8-9 and 3-4 in central play.
“A good part of our offense is McGruder being on the court,” said Wayne Coach Sonya Miller. “She didn’t get in early foul trouble, which is always a good thing. We remind her to play it smart. She likes playing fast and aggressive, so I think she did a good job containing that tonight.”
It was a direct contrast to the way McGruder played during Wayne’s victory Saturday at Beavercreek, a game that went into overtime. McGruder picked up a pair of early fouls and had to rdie the bench a large part of the first half. She came back to score 11 third quarter points to key Wayne’s comeback win.
“She was very anxious in that game, obviously wanting that win against a top team like Beavercreek,” Miller noted. “We were able to do much better tonight with our defensive principles.”
McGruder had plenty of support. Olivia Trice scored 16 with four 3-pointers, Maya Dunson sank five treys to finish with 15 and Destiny Bohanon had 10 points to power the Lady Warriors attack.
Alexia Payne paced Northmont with 10 points.
Wayne’s speed and size were just too much for the Lady Bolts to handle. The Lady Warriors opened the game with an 8-0 run and led 15-3 at the end of the first quarter and 35-17 at halftime. Five Northmont players scored in the second quarter led by Shalaya Heath with four. Ashley Jones also hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 18 at the break.
The Lady Warriors held a comfortable 48-28 lead after three quarters of play. Leading by 30 points Miller lifter her starters midway through the fourth quarter. Northmont only managed to score three points the remainder of the game even with Wayne’s starters watching from the bench.
Wayne used a more methodical approach against Northmont, a tactic Miller had intended.
“We are respectful of the game,” Miller added. “Obviously we are youmg, but part of that is us maturing on the court. We were more selective with our shots. We want to win the division title and we are looking to continue to improve game to game. Part of that means that sometimes we have to slow the ball down to be able to work our offense and defense into what we will need down the road.”
Northmont Coach Bethany Kincer declined to comment after her team’s loss.
WAY 15 35 48 68 – 68
NMT 03 17 28 35 – 35
Wayne: Mali Morgan-Elliott 2, Shayla Woods 2, Shanice Jones 2, Kiara Werring 2, Destiny Bohanon 10, Olivia Trice 16, Shai McGruder 19, Maya Dunson 15. Totals: 28-3-68.
Northmont: Cory Mangen 6, Anna Mangen 2, Ashley Jones 8, Erin Mangen 4, Shalaya Heath 5, Alexia Payne 10. Totals: 9-16-35.
3-point goals: Wayne 9 (Dunson 5, Trice 4); Northmont 1 (Jones).
Records: Wayne 18-1 (7-0), Northmont 8-9 (3-4).
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind