Northgate wraps up season against section leader

By MEL PERKINS

The Northgate Flames (3-11, 4-18) wrapped up their season this past Monday night when they took on the Saints from Nazareth Prep (11-3, 16-3).

The Saints are heading into the playoffs as the number-three seed in Class 1A, their only losses coming to Vincentian and Cornell.

The Saints were anchored by a 6’6” center and plenty of fast guard play posing lots of match-up problems for the Flames. The Saints never let Northgate get into a rhythm, and the Flames fell to the Saints in their final game of the season by the score of 66 – 48.

Nazareth Prep got on the board first, but both teams traded baskets early, with Jacian Sustayta hitting the first two buckets for the Flames in the early going. Unfortunately, the Saint defense was winning the battle on defense, allowing the Flames to score only seven points in the first quarter. After one quarter of play, the Flames were down 19 – 7.

The Flame offense caught a little spark in the second quarter, with Malcolm Randall getting some baskets in the paint and with Sustayta, Jeff Roberts and Benjamin Brookes all hitting three-pointers to allow the Flames to win the quarter 15 – 12 and gain some ground on the Saints, but at the half, the Flames were still down 31 – 22.

The third quarter started with Nazareth hitting a three-pointer, and both teams trading baskets, but the Flames were unable to get the stops on defense, limiting their ability to close the gap on the Saints’ lead. Northgate got contributions on offense from Randall, Roberts, Brooks and Raylan Whetsell. After three quarters of play the Flames trailed 47 – 36.

The fourth quarter was played much like the third, but with 3:15 left in the game, Brooks hit a three-pointer and the Flames were down by nine with the score 57 – 48. That would be the closest that Northgate would get. Nazareth Prep added nine more unanswered points to finish up the game, and the Flames would fall by the score of 66 – 48.

Northgate finished the night with four players hitting the double-digit mark in scoring. Malcolm Randall collected yet another double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. That came on the heels of hitting a major milestone on the road against Summit Academy on Feb. 6, when he scored his 1,000th career point.

Also, in double figures were Jacian Sustayta with 10 points, Raylan Whetsell with 10 points and Benjamin Brooks with 11 points on the night.