NORTH RIDGEVILLE — When it was all said and done, North Ridgeville coach Bryan Morgan could reflect for a moment.
“We finally got over the hump,” he said Friday after his Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 54-50 overtime win over West Shore Conference and neighborhood rival Midview.
There was no time for reflection during the game, however, because the Middies refused to go down easy.
Midview’s Daimion Mahone and Logan Bolin made three of four free throws to tie the game at 45 and send it into the extra session.
The game was reminiscent of the first time the teams met this year. The Middies came out on top 53-49 when Mahone stole the ball from Dennis Millgard late and made a basket to give the Middies a 53-49 win.
Millgard made up for that one, playing the hero Friday by scoring six of the Rangers’ nine points in overtime, the last two on free throws that closed the door with 7.7 seconds to go.
Nolan Freeman contributed the other points, going 3-of-4 from the line.
“We had talked about Dennis’ ability to make plays at the end of games and tonight he proved to me he could,” Morgan said after his team improved to 4-9 and 3-4. “I was proud of the way he could rise to the occasion and make the plays at the end of a big game.”
“It’s always this kind of a game when we play North Ridgeville,” Troy DiFranco said after his Middies fell to 7-6, 3-4. “But I’m not disappointed in the way our kids played tonight. They left it all on the floor. We had opportunities but we missed some free throws and missed some shots.
“That’s what I feel it came down to. I thought both teams played extremely hard. I can’t fault our kids’ effort. I didn’t want to be the team that put him over the hump but you know they’re a good basketball team, well-coached. Both teams played extremely hard and, unfortunately, someone had to lose.”
North Ridgeville built a 34-23 lead midway through the third quarter only to see Midview come back to cut the lead to 34-29 going into the fourth quarter.
Once again the Rangers had to figure out if they could close a game or not. The answer came quickly as Midview outscored North Ridgeville 13-7 to take a 42-41 lead with just over 2:30 left.
But neither team could put the other away in regulation.
“I want to talk about how proud I am of our kids,” Morgan said. “We kept talking about that win that we needed to get over the hump. Losing five games in a row in which things didn’t go our way — these kids were resilient enough to make this game a win, especially in overtime. They had two great practices and I have a bunch of guys that are upset at the way we started our season. You can see that in the way they played tonight.”
Contact Ron Nenadal at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Ridgeville 54, Midview 50
MIDVIEW (56): Matt Randolph 1-3-4, Logan Bolin 3-5-12, Daimion Mahone 2-7-11, Grant Overy 2-1-5, Jack Duffner 3-3-9, Jacob Wells 2-1-5, Kyle Warner 1-0-2, Vince Blevins 1-0-2. Totals 15-20-50.
North Ridgeville (54): Nolan Freeman 4-7-14, Dennis Millgard 4-4-14, Matt Clark 3-0-9, Tyler Arnold 0-0-0, Chad Kisel 2-2-7, Demario McCall 1-0-2, Jordan Montgomery 1-0-2, Nathan Colbert 3-0-6. Totals 18-13-54.
Midview 12 7 10 16 5 — 50
North Ridgeville 8 16 10 11 9 — 54
Three-point goals: Midview 1-12 (Logan Bolin), North Ridgeville 7-15 (Matt Clark 3, Dennis Millgard 2, Chad Kisel, Nolan Freeman. Field goals: Midview 14-24 (58 percent), North Ridgeville 11-22 (50 percent). Free throws: Midview 20-30 (66 percent), North Ridgeville 13-18 (72 percent). Rebounds: Midview 26 (Jack Duffner 10), North Ridgeville 14 (Nathan Colbert 6). Total fouls: Midview 18, North Ridgeville 21.