Flames beat Riverview

The Northgate boys won another game this week, with a strong defense helping support a stellar offense to beat Riverview 65-56. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

By MEL PERKINS

After snapping their 12-game losing streak on the 18th with Springdale, the Northgate Flames boys’ basketball team dropped two games, losing to Winchester-Thurston and Apollo Ridge. But, the Flames did not get down on themselves, and this past Tuesday when they played Riverview, tNorthgate jumped out in front and remained in command the entire game, knocking off the Riverview Raiders by the score of 65- 56.

The game started with Jacian Sustayta hitting a three-pointer and the Northgate defense setting up the press. The Flame defense was impenetrable and every Riverview shot was being contested from the perimeter. The Flames allowed Riverview to score only three points in the first quarter,, one bucket in the paint, and the other score coming from the free throw line.

Northgate’s offense was also clicking, feeding off the play of the defense. Contributing on offense, Northgate got points from Jeff Roberts, Raylan Whetsell and Malcolm Randall, and at the end of the quarter, the Flames were up 21 – 3.

The Flames let off the gas a little in the second quarter, and Riverview outscored the Flames 21 – 13. But, Whetsell and Malcolm continued to hammer inside and were able to knock down some mid-range jumpers to alleviate the pressure in the paint as Riverview’s zone was collapsing on the Flames’ inside game. Sustayta hit his second three-ball with less than a minute left in the half, and the Flames took a 34 – 24 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The third quarter started with both teams trading baskets, then Roberts hit Randall cutting to the basket for two, and Josh Dugan hit a couple of threes to open things up a bit. Riverview had no answer for Randall’s offense. Randall put up 13 of his game-high 32 points in the third quarter. Whetsell, Roberts and Sustayta also got into the action, contributing to outscore the Raiders 19 – 10 to give the Flames a commanding 19-point lead after three quarters of play.

With the score 53 - 34, the Flames kept up the pressure on defense, but the Raiders got hot from the perimeter to close the gap. Riverview outscored Northgate 22 – 12 in the fourth quarter, but the Flames were always in complete command of the game. With 1:29 left in the game Coach Joe Cangilla pulled his starters, allowing his reserves to finish out the game. The Flames’ scoring and rebounding, along with solid pressure defense, was just too much for the Raiders and the Flames knocked them off by the score of 65 – 56.

After the game, Cangilla spoke about his team’s performance, stating, “We’re focused. We got things done, we’re competing, and everyone’s healthy. We are playing a good five-on-five and that makes for a good team.”

The Flame defense is clicking with the press, and the players are putting a lot of effort into rebounding, limiting their opponents second chance shots. When asked about the defense and the rebounding, Cangilla said. “I got Jeff Roberts coming in and rebounding his butt off, and Josh Dugan coming in giving us good minutes. I tell them, if you come in and rebound like you do, you’ll get minutes. And then Malcolm, he just keeps getting after it.”