Jan. 25—CUMBERLAND — Just over a month after Mikey Allen hit seven 3-pointers in a game, he made nine on Tuesday night.
Allen led all scorers with 31 points as No. 2 Fort Hill dominated No. 5 Northern 72-26 at home.
"We're improving a lot, guys are flying around," Fort Hill head coach Thad Burner said. "I think that was evident in the first quarter. The pace that we're playing at is kinda what we envisioned early on."
The Sentinels (11-2, 2-1 WestMAC) hit 15 shots from beyond the arc. The Huskies (9-5, 2-2 WestMAC) did not make a 3-pointer.
"That's the fastest team that we've played so far this year," Northern head coach Ron Opel said. "We cannot match their speed, even a little bit. Then on top of that, Mikey Allen goes off like he did. I don't know if he missed a shot. What he poured in was out of this world."
Fort Hill scored the first nine points of the game off of two steals and a block. Allen contributed two points, two steals and an assist during the run.
"I think they're coming into their own," Burner said. "It's becoming a little bit easier because we're flowing better offensively and defensively. The biggest thing is in the last couple games we've made shots early. Anthony (Burns) and Mikey made big shots right from the get-go."
It took almost four minutes for Northern to score. Derek Bittinger converted an and-one jumper to get the Huskies on the scoreboard. Northern shot 1 for 4 from inside the arc and 0 for 3 from deep in the first quarter.
"Shot selection was alright, we just didn't get anything to fall." Opel said. "We're sped up and we can't replicate their speed in practice. We're not used to seeing that, there's nothing we can do to prepare for it."
The Huskies did not score the remaining 4:11 in the quarter while the Sentinels pulled away and scored the final 13 points.
Allen hit four 3-pointers and scored 16 points. Burns scored 11 as Fort Hill led 33-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Northern hit a few shots to open the second quarter. In the first five minutes, each team scored eight points. Abe Schilpp and Alex Knauff each scored four points for the Huskies.
"We finally settled in." Opel said. "We're down 30 and it's sad to say it took the pressure off. We got used to seeing that kind of onslaught, the guys settled down and things started to fall for us."
Fort Hill used its bench most of the quarter and led at halftime 45-15.
The Sentinels brought their starters back to open the second half. They played the entire third quarter and the start of the fourth.
"We're just trying to get better," Burner said. "We could have sat them on the bench, but we're trying to get game experience. That would be back-to-back games where guys aren't even playing in the fourth quarter. It's great for the bench guys, but you have to build continuity."
Allen hit four more 3s in the second half, hitting two in each quarter. He also had back-to-back steals late in the third.
"He's quick, he's fast, he can pull up from anywhere," Opel said. "You have to guard him as soon as he crosses half court. As soon as you go out and guard the three, he'll drive by you. He's just a very good, quick, multifaceted player."
Allen finished the third quarter with a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer. He would exit the game early in the fourth along with the rest of Fort Hill's starters. Allen also had four steals and three assists in the game.
"Show me a good shooter and I'll show you a guy that's in the gym," Burner said. "Mikey's always in the gym. It's not a fluke that he makes shots. He makes shots because he works at it really hard."
The Sentinels brought their bench in for the final six minutes. They blocked two shots and Landon Sensabaugh hit a 3-pointer.
"They're trying to find their role," Burner said. "They held their own, they won both of those quarters. Hats off to them."
Burns scored 16 points while Owen Seifarth had 11 for the Sentinels.
"He's continuing to shoot the ball," Burner said of Burns. "He's getting a lot of open looks. He's getting some confidence outside the perimeter. We expect that from Anthony. If we're gonna have success down the stretch, it's gonna have a lot to do with Anthony."
Schilpp led Northern with seven points while Knauff scored six.
"That's the kind of performance we expect from him," Opel said of Schilpp. "He hasn't really gotten there yet. It was good to see him drop the shots we know he can. Hopefully that gives him a little confidence going forward."
Fort Hill hosts Washington on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Northern travels to face Mountain Ridge on Friday at 7 p.m.
"Be physical with them, take care of the basketball," Opel said of the keys to beating the Miners. "I think it's gonna be a different kind of game at their place. It's always a little harder to play at Mountain Ridge. It's been a long time since we've swept Mountain Ridge, these guys are wanting to see what that feels like."
Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @JKendallCTN.