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Kings of the KMAC: Northmor rolls Highland in first place showdown

By Zach Fleer, 01/10/18, 10:45PM EST


Northmor improved to 11-0 in a dominant showing at home

GALION, Ohio -- In a first place showdown in the inaugural season of the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference, Northmor hosted Highland with its undefeated record on the line. Going on a 36-10 run from the 2:59 mark of the first quarter the 5:57 mark of the third, Northmor (11-0, 7-0) rolled the visiting Scots (7-3, 6-1)  in convincing fashion, 70-43. 

While Wednesday's contest in front of a sold out crowd at Northmor got off to a slow start, tied at 4 through the first five minutes of the game, Northmor turned up the pressure behind its transition offense. Forcing turnovers and getting out into the open floor, Northmor went on a 12-2 run to end the quarter, going into the second period with a 16-6 advantage.

In the second quarter, it was all Northmor. Holding Highland to six points once again, Northmor went on an 8-0 run in the final four minutes of the period to go into halftime with a 31-12 lead.

Opening the third quarter on a 9-2 run, Northmor would slam the door shut on Highland, taking a commanding lead in the KMAC, as the Golden Knights have won nine of its 11 games this season by double digits. Going through the first half of league play unblemished, Northmor made a statement Wednesday against the KMAC's second best team in Highland.

Kyle Kegley

Relying on a monster performance from its starting unit, Northmor was led by senior forward Kyle Kegley, who finished with game highs in points and rebounds. Checking out of the game late in the fourth quarter with 20 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and four steals, Kegley made his presence felt on both ends of the floor. 

For as good as Kegley was, senior point guard Meechie Johnson wasn't far behind. Finishing with 18 points and a game-high five assists, Johnson's high energy play on both ends of the floor set the tone for the Golden Knights from the opening tip. Johnson, who is a state champion high jumper, got to the rim at will and was able to push the ball in transition, setting up his teammates for easy scores and constantly putting pressure on the Highland defense.

Senior wing guard Brock Pletcher added 12 points, including an alley-oop slam off the backboard from Johnson in the third quarter. Sophomore wing Blake Miller, who gives the Silver Knights additional size at 6-foot-5, added 12 points, four rebounds and three steals, scoring 10 of his 12 in the second half.

The twin tower alongside Kyle Kegley is senior post Tyler Kegley, who commanded the paint on the defensive side of the ball. Finishing with six points, nine rebounds and four blocks, Kegley and his twin brother out-rebounded Highland by themselves, as the Scots would be held to just 16 total rebounds.

Highland was led by senior guard Chris Branham, who finished with a team-high 10 points and six rebounds. Junior wing Mack Anglin, a Clemson baseball recruit, added nine points. Never able to get the game back into single digits after Northmor's first quarter run, Highland would succumb to the size and physicality of the Golden Knights.

With a starting five that is as big as any in Division III, Northmor is one of three teams still unbeaten at this point, joining Harvest Prep and Bishop Ready. In a loaded Division III with perennial powers such as Africentric and Wellington, Northmor will have its hands full come tournament time. However, with a deep group of seniors who play a physical brand of uptempo basketball, Northmor is not a team to sleep on in the Central District.

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