Flames rebound for win over Sto-Rox


The Northgate Flames (6-7, 7-14) rallied late in the fourth quarter last Friday night to defeat the Sto-Rox Vikings (5-8, 6-14) 59 - 53. It was a hotly contested match-up, with seven lead changes and four ties. Northgate's defense and physicality won out, but not until the Flames had absorbed the best that the Vikings could throw at them.

The game started with Shane Adams lobbing a long three, and hitting the mark to give the Flames a 3 - 0 lead. But, the Vikings would respond to every bucket that Northgate would score until, with 38 seconds left in the first quarter, Darrell Barron knocked down a jumper in the paint to make the score 11 - 8. And, after a quick steal, Rodney Burrow drove to the basket for a lay-up and the Flames were up 13 - 8 at the end of one quarter of play.

The momentum flipped in the second quarter when the Vikings' Javelle Kirkland led Sto-Rox on an 11-point run. Barron and Ben Valeriano combined for seven points early in the second quarter, allowing the Flames to maintain a 20 -12 lead. But, with 5:05 left in the half, Sto-Rox rallied. The Flames were struggling to contain Kirkland, who hit three threes in two minutes. And, with 3:00 left in the half, the Flames were trailing 25 - 20.

Barron ended Northgate's scoring drought when he drove to the basket for two, to make the score 25 - 22, with 2:35 left in the second quarter. With 2:00 left on the clock, Barron drove to the hoop and scored on a reverse lay-up and the Flames were down one, with the score 25 - 24.

The Vikings scored seven unanswered points to finish the half, and the Flames went to the locker room down 32 - 24.

"I questioned our shot selection, I'm not sure if they (our team) really agreed with me, but I thought we took a few too many threes in the second quarter. The second quarter got away from us a little bit." Coach Perry Harrop said after the game. The Vikings outscored Northgate 24 - 11 in the second quarter.

Sto-Rox scored a quick bucket to start the third quarter, but he Flames never wavered. Northgate stayed with their man defense, and got a quick stop. At the other end of the court, Barron drove to the basket and laid it in off the glass to cut the Vikings’ lead to eight, 34 -26.

Barron, Chase Brooks, Shane Adams and Stephon Adams combined for 12 points in the quarter, and the Flames' defense tightened up, holding Sto-Rox to just eight points. After three quarters of play, the Flames trailed 40 -36.

"Our defense was pretty good. We gave up some open threes there in the second quarter but, I think we tightened that up. And, we caused some turnovers," Harrop said.

Valeriano banged a three to start the fourth quarter and the Flames were down one, 40 -39. With 5:50 left in the game, Barron knocked down a trey-ball and Northgate had their first lead since midway through the second quarter, 44 - 42.

With 2:26 left in the game, the Flames turned up the heat. And, with the Vikings pressing, Stephon Adams had to go up high to tip a pass to Brooks. The play left two Sto-Rox players in a crumpled heap, but Brooks caught the pass, and, all alone, laid it in for two to give the Northgate a 51 - 49 lead.

The Vikings would tie it up again, 51 - 51, but the heat would be too much for them. With 2:00 left in the game, Barron drove to the basket for two and got fouled. Barron went to the charity stripe to convert the three-point play, and the Flames were up 54 - 51. In the last two minutes of the game, Barron went to the foul line and made six of seven, lifting Northgate to a 59 - 53 victory.

Harrop was pleased with the play of his team, saying, "Everybody that played really did something good to help Northgate tonight. And, Darrell down the stretch, knocking down the foul shots, that was really big."

Barron led all scorers with 30 points on the night.

Northgate traveled to South Side Beaver on Tuesday and beat the Rams 46 - 40.

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