Northgate loses another close one

Northgate’s Malcolm Randall (No. 32) continues to be a bright spot on the court for the Flames, scoring 26 points in a close loss to Summit Academy Tuesday. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

By MEL PERKINS

Northgate (0-5, 1-10) entered Tuesday night's game on an eight-game slide, and beating the Knights from Summit Academy (4-1, 5-3) would not be an easy task. The Flames fought hard and managed to put a scare in the Knights in the fourth quarter, but were unable to pull off the upset, losing 50-45.

The Knights jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and the Flames roared back behind the play of Malcolm Randall. Benjamin Brooks hit a three-ball midway through the quarter, but it was Randall who scored nine of his team-high 26-points in the first quarter, capping it with a three-pointer with just 56 seconds left on the clock. After one quarter of play, the Flames held a 12-11 lead.

The Flames did not fare so well in the second quarter, as they fell into what is becoming known as their “second quarter lull,” when they were out-scored 14-6. Even though the Flames got help from James Eubanks and Jeff Roberts, Northgate trailed 25-18 at the half.

The Flames' woes continued after the half, with the fast guard play from Summit Academy causing match-up problems. Northgate was outscored 15-9 in the third quarter. Jacian Sustayta and Roberts added to the tally, and Randall scored four from the free throw line. The Flames, still down after three quarters of play by the score 40-27, were primed to make a run.

The third quarter started with the Flames flexing some muscle, getting inside and drawing some fouls. The first three minutes of the fourth quarter saw the Flames outscore the Knights 9-1 to close the gap and make the score 41-36. Brooks hit a three, and Sustayta and Eubanks contributed, but it was Randall getting inside for buckets under the hoop, and going seven of eight from the charity stripe to allow the Flames to claw their way back into the game. With just 34 second, the Flames were down 46-44, but they just could not seal the deal, falling to the Knights by the score of 50-45.

Randall finished the night with 26 points and 14 rebounds, and went 15 of 20 from the free throw line.

The Flames host Sto-Rox on Tuesday night.