By MEL PERKINS
The Northgate Flames (3-13) fell to the OLSH Chargers (11-4) last Friday night by the score of 74 - 22. The Chargers are a very good team led by 6'6" senior Collin Neville and 6'4" junior Ethan Harrell. The Flames were at a disadvantage in the paint given the height difference, but Northgate never quit, showing a lot of grit and fortitude throughout the game.
Northgate had no answer for the big guys that OLSH had in their interior, and after one quarter of play the Flames were down 25-6. Stephon Adams scored four of the team’s six points and Chad Anderson contributed by hitting 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
The second quarter was more of the same, as OLSH outscored the Flames 22-6. Adams knocked down a three-pointer, Anderson, again, went to the free throw line, making two, and Anthony Barbirino made 1-of-2 for the Flames' six points. At the end of the half, the Flames were down 47 - 12.
The Flames are in the throes of a difficult season, a season filled learning and growing. This has become a season where building team chemistry and cohesiveness, and just getting better, has become the primary focus for this young team. But, it's tough seasons like this that become the foundation for very good teams.
The third quarter started with OLSH showing no signs of letting up, and the Flames were out-scored 22 - 6. Adams scored two from the free throw line. Anderson also went 2-for-2 after getting fouled driving to the hoop. And, Malcolm Randall laid one in for two after receiving a pass from Adams. At the end of the third quarter the Flames were down 63 -18.
Both teams went to their reserves in the fourth quarter, but not before Adams added two from the charity stripe and Anderson scored after driving to the basket. The final score was OLSH 74 and Northgate 22.
Stephon Adams finished the night with 11 points and Chad Anderson followed him with 8.
After the game, Coach Perry Harrop said, "OLSH is a really good team, they have a 6'6" kid [Collin] Neville and a 6'4" kid [Ethan] Harrell, they are really good players and right now we are throwing freshmen and sophomores at them, guys who haven't played a lot, and it's just tough."
Harrop recognizes the difficulty that his team faces night after night. At this point in the season, the Flames have one senior, two juniors, three sophomores, and four freshmen, and in all actuality they are a very young team, in a very tough and experienced section.
Harrop is really proud of his team, and gives a lot of credit to his point guard, Stephon Adams, saying, "Steph is being a great leader."
Adams is the quarterback on the football team during football season, and the leadership translates well to the hardwood during basketball season. Adams' leadership is apparent on the basketball court when he calls for players to get into position, and when shouts encouragement to players that are doing a good job or showing lots of effort. But, what isn't seen is his leadership behind the scene and in the locker room. It is not uncommon for Adams to get to the locker room early before the other players, and take to the bulletin board to help his teammates focus. Harrop said, "I came in today and there were 5 things written on the board: 1) Play together, 2) Less turnovers, 3) Run the offense, 4) Box out, and 5) Have Fun." Harrop is proud of the leadership that Adams shows, and believes that it is a rare trait for players when he says, "It's really easy to be a leader when you are 12 - 3 and 15 - 1, but when you are 3 - 12 and someone is doing that -- that's a good leader."