Flames hold on for win over Carlynton

By MEL PERKINS

The Northgate Flames (0-3, 2-8) picked up their second win of the season and their first win at home Tuesday night when they out ran the Cougars from Carlynton High School (1-0, 3-7). The Flames came back after being down 32 – 29 late in the third quarter to claim a 51 – 45 victory over the visiting Cougars.

The game started with the Flames getting on the board first when Daijon McCall broke free on a fast-break and laid it in for two to give the Flames a 2 – 0 lead with 7:40 on the clock. The Flames made use of a little 3 – 2 zone defense along with some man-to-man to keep the Cougars off their guard.

Carlynton took a 6 – 2 lead about half way through the quarter, but the Flames fought their way back with the help of Jacian Sustayta and McCall, who knocked down threes to chip away at the Cougars’ lead. Then, with time expiring in the quarter, Raylan Whetsell drove to the hoop and laid it in for two, and the game was tied at 10 after one quarter of play.

Patrick Wemette opened up the scoring for the Flames in the second quarter with a mid-range jump shot, but the Cougars rattled off six unanswered points to go up 16 – 12. McCall answered back for the Flames, scoring six of his game-high 17 points to allow the Flames to push ahead 18 – 16.

Also getting into the mix in the second quarter were Sustatya, Mitch Denes, and Malcom Randall. The Flames outscored the Cougars 17 – 10, and took a 27 – 20 lead into the locker room at the half.

Again, the third quarter began with the Flames getting on the board first. This time it was Ryan Puskar laying it to make the score 29 – 20. The third quarter was plagued by turn-overs for the Flames, and Northgate would not score again until Whetsell got fouled and went to the charity stripe to knock down two with 8 seconds left in the quarter. The Flames were outscored 14 – 4 in the third quarter and the fourth quarter started with them trailing 34 – 31.

McCall calmly knocked down a three from behind the arc to tie the game at 34 as the fourth period began. Randall grabbed an offensive rebound and put it in for two on their next trip down court and the Flames were up 36 – 34. The Flames would not relinquish the lead. Wemette, Sustayta and Puskar would all contribute in the quarter to give the Flames a 49 – 39 point lead. With a double digit lead, and with 2:06 left in the game, Coach Cangilla called a time-out to lay out the plan for the final two minutes.

After the game, Cangilla said, “There was about two minutes left in the game, and it is one of those things, it is situational basketball, and that’s a situation that we haven’t been in. We haven’t been up 10 late. So, you got to figure, especially when we’re in the double bonus, in order for them to come back they have to foul us, so we were looking to hold the ball, pass the ball and help each other out. So, just in terms of where we’re at, we haven’t been in too many of those situations.” Cangilla found the situation to be a teachable moment, and it is most obvious that his team is gaining valuable experience with each game.

The Flames burned clock the final two minutes, the Cougars added six more points to their total, and when it was all said and done, the Flames cruised to a 51 – 45 victory over the Carlynton Cougars for their first home win. Daijon McCall led all scorers with 17 points and Malcolm Randall followed him with 12 points.

The Flames host Shenango tonight at 7:30 p.m. in a section match-up.