Flames get big win over Bulldogs

By MEL PERKINS

The Northgate Flames (4-5, 5-12) hosted the Bulldogs (0-9, 3-13) from Freedom High School Tuesday night, and battled back from a two-point deficit in the first quarter to win handedly by 33 points, 71 - 38.

The Flames were coming off a 65 - 30 Friday night loss to OLSH, and were looking to shake off the tough conference loss and get back into the win column.

The game started with the Bulldogs jumping out to an early 5 - 0 lead, but with 4:31 left in the first quarter, Chase Brooks put the Flames on the scoreboard when he rebounded his missed shot and hit a jumper in the paint. The Flames reeled off six unanswered baskets to take a 6 - 5 lead.

With 2:00 left in the quarter, Freedom regained an 8 - 6 lead. Northgate tied it up two more times before the quarter ended, behind the scoring of Darrell Barron and Stefon Adams. The quarter would end with the Flames trailing 12 - 10.

Brooks opened up the second quarter by knocking down a deep three to give the Flames a 13 - 12 lead, signaling that the Northgate offense was about to "light it up."

"They junked us with some zone, and that gave us some trouble early on. They were throwing all kinds of stuff at us, but once we figured it out, we got some good shots, I thought," Coach Perry Harrop said after the game.

The Flames went to their man defense, with a little full-court press mixed in, and things began to roll as the pace of the game quickened.

Harrop said, "We were flying. And, we want to play fast."

It was obvious Northgate had found their rhythm as Ben Valeriano, Stephon Adams and Rodney Burrow combined with Brooks and Barron to outscore the Bulldogs 23 - 8 in the second quarter.

At the end of the half, the Flames had momentum and were sitting on a solid 33 - 20 lead.

"Our defense helped us get into our offense. It helped us get some easy baskets in transition," Harrop said.

The Flames used the third quarter to stretch the lead, as the defense held Freedom to just 10 points. The Northgate offense kept up the heat. Darrell Barron scored 10 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter, achieving a major milestone when he scored his 1,000th career point with 2:00 left in the third quarter, an accomplishment that only seven other Northgate players have achieved.

As the third quarter was coming to an end, Shane Adams put a wrap on it when he stole an errant pass and drove to the hoop to give the Flames a 56 - 30 lead at the end the quarter.

The fourth quarter started with Northgate sticking to their hustling defense. Stephon Adams picked-up a couple of quick baskets to start the quarter, and when Shane Adams drilled a trey-ball with 3:20 left in the game to make the score 67 - 32, Harrop called in the reserves.

When the smoke cleared, Northgate had their fourth conference win, defeating the Bulldogs by the score of 71 - 38.

Harrop said, "It was a good win for us. We played good defense, and that's what we talked about, getting pressure on their guards, and I thought we did a good job."

Barron finished the night with a double-double, scoring 22 points and cleaning the glass with 10 rebounds. Three other players finished with double digit scoring: Stefon Adams finished with 16 points. Chase Brooks finished with 13 points, hitting 3 of 7 from behind the arc, and Shane Adams finished with 10 points on the night.

The Flames travel to Quaker Valley tonight for an important conference match-up.

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