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It seemed as though the Northgate softball team was poised to claim their second win in a tumultuous season when they hosted Cornell this past Wednesday. The Flames, whose only win this year was a section victory against the Raiders on the road, took an early lead but faded down the stretch and lost 16-9.

Northgate held a 3-1 lead at the end of the first inning, but the Raiders battled back in the top of the second, sending 11 players to the plate and scoring seven runs to lead 8-3.



Only a couple of weeks into the 2012 baseball season, the Northgate Flames are still in search of their first victory.

One of the most recent losses occurred on Friday, March 30 when the Flames hosted OLSH and fell 12-5.

Northgate started with pitcher Dan Bistrican on the mound and surrendered three runs in the first inning. Those all came though as a result of Flames’ mistakes that included errors, stolen bases, a hit batsman and a balk that put Northgate in the hole 3-0 going into the bottom of the first.



The Northgate Flames (7-5, 14-11) took on the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions (11-1, 19-5) on Saturday in a WPIAL AA quarter-final match-up. A Flames win would have sent them into the final four, but the Centurion's defense proved to be too much of an obstacle for Northgate to overcome, and they fell to GCC 62-46.


The Northgate boys’ basketball team will head into the WPIAL playoff quarter-finals tomorrow after pulling off an upset victory in double overtime Wednesday night.

The Flames traveled to Keystone Oaks to face fourth-seeded Summit Academy. Battling until the end, the Northgate team won 90-86. Dave Natale had seven three-pointers, for 21 points, in the game.



The Avonworth Antelopes (4-8, 12-10) hosted the playoff-bound Northgate Flames (7-5, 11-10) last Friday night, and in a fiercely contested match up, the Flames rallied behind the leadership of Jon Girvin in the second half, to come from behind and win by the score of 41-38.



Northgate (6-5, 10-10) snapped a two-game losing streak last Friday night, hammering the Lions from New Brighton 68 - 42.

New Brighton jumped out in front by hitting a three-point shot, but the Flames' defense was about to tighten things up. The Lions would not find the bucket again, for nearly 5 minutes.



The Northgate Flames (5-5, 8-10) have hit a two game skid, dropping an important section game to the second place Quakers (8-2, 16-2) from Quaker Valley last Friday night, then losing a rematch with the first place Beaver Falls Tigers (8-1, 16-2) on Tuesday.



A section win was within reach when the Northgate girls’ basketball team hosted South Side Beaver on Thursday, Jan. 19. But after battling back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit, the Flames fell to defeat in the game’s final seconds 45-43.

Northgate, in search of their first section win, saw their record drop to 3-13 overall and 0-8 in section play.

The Flames scored the game's first points past the midpoint of the first quarter when Kira Neszpaul hit a jumper near the top of the circle for a 2-0 lead.



The first place Beaver Falls Tigers (13-2, 6-1) came into Northgate's house on Wednesday night, and when the dust had cleared, the Flames had handed the Tigers their first section loss of the season.

The Flames (8-8, 5-3) were badly in need of a section victory after losing to the Quips from Aliquippa the night before, and with Quaker Valley on the scheduled for tonight. It was make or break time for the Flames, and they were up to the challenge.



The Northgate Flames (6-7, 3-2) played host to the Avonworth Antelopes (8-6, 2-4) Tuesday night, and in what turned out to be a classic battle between rivals, the Flames fell to the 'Lopes in overtime, by the score of 75 - 64.

Northgate came into the game intent on extending their win streak to three, after beating New Brighton and Westinghouse last week. However, Avonworth had their own intentions, and with their pesky man-to-man defense, the 'Lopes gave Northgate a taste of their own medicine. And, Avonworth handed the Flames their first loss at home this season.



The Northgate Flames cruised to an easy 61-40 win over the New Brighton Lions Tuesday night, snapping a four-game losing streak, while playing their sixth straight game away from home. The win raised Northgate's section record to 3-1, with an overall record of 5 - 6.

The Flames' last win was on Dec. 22 when they traveled to Springdale and beat the Dynamos 54-39. Northgate then dropped games to Seneca Valley (AAAA), Sto-Rox (2-0, 8-1), and Brentwood (3-1, 8- ). On Jan. 3, the Flames traveled to Quaker Valley and came away with their first section loss of the season.



Since just before the holiday break, the Northgate girls’ basketball team registered two wins against three losses, but new coach Neal Martin seems encouraged by his young team's effort and hard work.

The Flames scored their second win of the season on Dec. 21, defeating Sewickley Academy 37-36.

They followed with a 63-22 loss on Dec. 27 against Ambridge, a loss against Sewickley Academy 38-26 on Dec. 28, and a section loss this past Monday at Quaker Valley, 69-25.

Northgate changed direction the following night when they defeated Brentwood at home 39-38.


The Northgate School Board took a few minutes Monday evening to acknowledge the accomplishments of several student athletes, as well as their coaches.

Two members of the varsity football team have been named to the WPIAL Class A All Conference first team. Jon Girvin took the honors as quarterback, and Jake Abernethy as wide receiver.



The Northgate Flames lit up the scoreboard last Friday night, when the offense exploded and scored 27 points in the first quarter on their way to a 53-22 win over the visiting Riverview Raiders.

The win extended the Flames' winning streak to three, and gives them a conference record of 4-2, with an overall record of 5-2.

The win places Northgate in a tie for third place with the Springdale Dynamos in the WPIAL's Eastern Conference.



On Saturday afternoon, in the muck and the mire of what was Wilkinsburg's Graham Field, the Northgate Flames (3-2, 2-2) bounced back from a two- game losing streak by blanking the Wilkinsburg Tigers (0-5, 0-5) by the score of 31-0.

The foul weather had little effect on the Flames' air attack, as quarterback Jon Girvin threw four touchdown passes, three of those going to wide receiver Jake Abernethy. Abernethy led the team in receiving, with four catches for a total of 85 yards.


The Northgate Flames scored another victory tonight, defeating Jefferson Morgan 26-13 on the road. Cody Walter ran for two touchdowns to help bring home the win.

Avonworth, meanwhile, traveled to Springdale for a largely defensive game the Antelopes managed to win 7-6. QB Brian Vales connected with Mike Giampole for a touchdown on the 'Lopes very first drive of the game. After that, appearances in the end zone were a long time coming. It wasn't until the fourth quarter that Springdale got on the board.

Get full game details in the Sept. 16 issue of The Citizen.



It's been a tough season for the young Northgate softball team, and the circumstances were no different when the Flames hosted North Catholic last Thurs-day.

The Flames were limited to two hits and a run as they were overpowered by the Trojans in six innings 15-1.

Northgate, whose last win came in a non-section game against Aliquippa on March 29, saw their overall record drop to 1-5 and 0-3 in section play.

Flames’ freshman pitcher Emma DiDomenico absorbed the loss, giving up seven hits, eight walks and recording two strike-outs.



The Northgate basketball team's playoff run came to a screeching halt last Saturday, when they ran into a well prepared and determined Steel Valley team (6-6, 8-14).

Steel Valley entered Saturday's game coming off a three game losing streak, while the Flames had won two of their last four. The Flames had lost against South Park and Central Valley, two much larger schools. Hence, the prognosticators had the Flames advancing to the first round.



The Northgate Flames honored their seniors last Friday night by downing the ‘Lopes from Avonworth for the second time this season. The Flames and the Antelopes battled hard in what turned out to be another hard fought rivalry game.

The Flames jumped on top early, as senior guard Matt Garrison knocked down a 3-point shot to get the Flames off and running. Northgate took advantage of their inside game by working the ball in to Josh Douglass and Jon Girvin, and outscored Avonworth 17-9 in the first quarter



The Avonworth girls’ basketball team traveled to crosstown rival Northgate last Thursday, intending to take the section title outright with a win over the Flames. Although Northgate battled to remain within striking distance through the third quarter, the Lady ‘Lopes would not be denied, as they defeated the Flames 50-28.

The 'Lopes will begin the WPIAL playoffs with a first round game on Tuesday, Feb. 22. They will play the winner of the Keystone Oaks - New Brighton preliminary round game with the time and site yet to be determined.



Northgate traveled into hostile territory Tuesday night, and came away with a much needed section win against the ‘Lopes from Avonworth.

The Flames opened up the game in their man-to-man defense, and with Josh Douglass shadowing Avonworth's Mitch Locher. Locher leads the ‘Lope's high powered offense, averaging 26 points a game.

The first quarter was highlighted by the defensive play of both teams. The referees, at times, turned a blind eye to the physical play, as bodies were hitting the floor, and creating the atmosphere that big time rivalries feed upon.



While the Avonworth girls basketball team added three more wins to their season over the past week, the game that was of interest to most local fans was when they hosted the Northgate Flames on Monday, Jan. 17.

Led by Lauren Mayernik's 22 points, the Lady ‘Lopes cruised to an easy win over the Flames 59-22.

What was also noteworthy was the play of forward Natalie Zivic, who stepped up big with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists.



The Northgate Flames continued their downward slide Tuesday night when they lost a valuable section game to the Quakers from Quaker Valley. The Flames entered Tuesday's game with a 3 - 5 record overall, 1 - 1 in section play, and trying to bounce back from their two losses in the Mars Tournament on Dec.27 and 28.

Northgate opened up the tournament the first night with a 71 - 61 loss to Mars, and the second night they lost a close, hard-fought battle, with their rivals from across the river, as they fell 67 - 62 to the Vikings from Sto-Rox in the consolation game.


The weather isn't the only thing that has been a little cold the last few weeks. The Northgate boys' basketball team has lost five games in a row.

Flames' head coach Perry Harrop attributes the team's struggles to their turnover woes.

"Turnovers are a major issue," he said. "It is a season-long problem."

Harrop said that Northgate is turning over the ball about once in every three possessions. He noted that teams he has coached in the past had turnover averages below 20 percent.

Harrop said that the Flames also are having trouble converting foul shots.