NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Vermilion and North Ridgeville locked up in a defensive struggle Friday night, but Vermilion had just enough offense to pull out a thrilling 39-36 win over the Rangers.
“Tonight was a great atmosphere,” Vermilion coach Kurt Habermehl said. “Both teams came out and played great defense. I was very unhappy with the way we played defense against Clearview (last game), but tonight we turned it around.”
For North Ridgeville coach Bryan Morgan it was another close game, but a loss. Still, he was pleased with his team’s effort and its defensive performance.
“If they come out and play hard like they did tonight and we lose, it’s not as bad as when we come out and don’t play well,” Morgan said. “(Vermilion) scored 74 points against Clearview Saturday and we can’t score 74 points, so we knew had to keep the game at our tempo. I thought it was a half-court game the entire game. To hold them to 39 points, I’m extremely excited.”
Vermilion’s Cameron Kuhn led the scoring with 18 points — 10 from the free throw line — as the Ranger defense keyed on one of the area’s leading scorers, with DeMario McCall and Dennis Millgard taking turns at defending him.
“He had eight points from the field, but that’s why Cameron is a 20-point scorer,” Morgan said. “He knows how to get to the free throw line and he gets the calls and he puts them in the basket. Even when you think your defending him, he comes up with 18. I’m just glad no one else got hot for them.”
For Vermilion (7-2, 5-1 WSC) it was Alex Nunn turning in a defensive gem.
“I felt Nunn did a great job of defending Matt Clark,” Habermehl said. “I consider Clark one of the better point guards in the conference and he held him to three points.”
Although Kuhn leads the team scoring on most nights, Habermehl said his team is not a one-man gang.
“We have some kids that contribute and play well, although I felt our offense was stagnant at times tonight,” he said. “They waited for Cameron to do something at times.”
The close loss dropped the Rangers to 3-8 and 2-4 in the WSC.
Contact Ron Nenadal at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vermilion 39, North Ridgeville 36
VERMILION (39): Cameron Kuhn 4-10-18, Forest Boyd 4-0-10, Kyle Nader 3-1-7, Seth Konrad 1-1-3, Aaron Dawson 0-1-1. Totals 12-13-39.
NORTH RIDGEVILLE (36): Nolan Freeman 6-4-16, Jordan Montgomery 2-1-5, Nathan Colbert 2-0-4, Dennis Millgard 2-0-4, Matt Clark 1-0-3, DeMario McCall 1-0-2, Collin Sullinger 0-2-2. Totals 14-7-36.
Vermilion 12 11 9 7 — 39
North Ridgeville 10 7 7 12 — 36
Three-point goals: Vermilion 2-11 (Forest Boyd 2). North Ridgeville 1-9 (Clark) . Field goals: Vermilon 12-15 (80 percent), North Ridgeville 14-16 (87 percent). Free throws: Vermilion 13-28 (46 percent), North Ridgeville 7-9 (77 percent). Rebounds: Vermilion 18 (Boyd 6), North Ridgeville 23 (Freeman 10). Turnovers: Vermilion 16, North Ridgeville 21. Total fouls: Vermilion 14, North Ridgeville 17. Fouled out: None.
Junior varsity: North Ridgeville, 55-42.