Springfield High School senior David Sanford passes the ball to a teammate against Northmont defender Miles Johnson during the Wildcats’ 78-64 victory over the Thunderbolts on Friday night in Springfield. Sanford had a team-high 21 points in the win. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Boys Basketball: Moss, Sanford star as Springfield slams Northmont

Sanford found his stroke early, scoring nine of his game-high 21 points in the first quarter, while the high-flyin’ Moss scored 17 points, including multiple slam dunks in the Wildcats’ transition offense.

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After the game, the Wildcats senior leaders weren’t ready to take credit for the team’s success.

“My teammates played well,” Moss said. “Shout out to them. Without them, we wouldn’t be here at all. We just played great.”

Springfield junior Larry Stephens scored 13 points and sophomore Ani Elliott added 10 for the Wildcats, who improved to 4-2 overall and 4-0 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference National East Division.

“It was a great team win,” Sanford said.

Northmont’s Patrick Ivory scored 18 points, Prophet Johnson had 15 and Patrick Ivory added 14 for the Thunderbolts, who fell to 4-4 and 1-3 in the GWOC National West Division.

Springfield led 19-11 after the first quarter, but the Thunderbolts were able to cut the lead to three at 29-26, prompting a Wildcats timeout. Springfield scored two straight baskets after the timeout, including a dunk by Moss, to take a 33-26 lead into the locker room.

“They’ve got a lot of good athletes and they’re fast,” said Springfield coach Isaiah Carson. “We wanted to speed them up and turn them over so we could get out and get our tempo going. That was a plus tonight.”

The Thunderbolts wouldn’t get any closer the rest of the way. Springfield quickly jumped on Northmont in the second half, extending its lead to 52-38 after the third quarter.

“They started speeding us up and getting some turnovers that turned into easy layups and dunks,” said Northmont coach Shane Kincer. “They’re a very good, athletic team. We just kill ourselves with little silly mental mistakes throughout the night. We didn’t want to play at that speed necessarily and they got they wanted.”

The Thunderbolts have a young squad who are still learning, Kincer said. They won’t play again for another two weeks when they host Wayne on Jan. 4.

“We’ve got to finish,” Kincer said. “Every game so far this year other than tonight we’ve had a lead at some point and haven’t learned how to finish games. That’s what we’re going to work on throughout the year. I’m excited for what the future holds for Northmont basketball.”

Sanford and Moss — both starters on last year’s regional team — did what they’re expected to do, Carson said.

“They’re our leaders,” he said. “They did a phenomenal job of executing the game plan and just playing extremely hard.”

The Wildcats’ had a great week of practice, Moss said, and that was key in tonight’s win.

“We had intensity all week,” he said. “Our main focus was just playing defense and grabbing rebounds. We got some turnovers and a lot of big plays.”

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