High School Basketball

McIntosh doubles up on Northgate

by Chris Goltermann


Northgate seniors Wendell Watson (5) and Alex Rutherford battle for a rebound with a McIntosh player during Friday's Region 4-AAAAA game. 

Northgate basketball teams received a rude welcome to the new year on Friday in what was also its first subregion games of the 2013-14 season.

Respective lineups from McIntosh used early outbursts to jump out to double-digit leads in the first half and weren't threatened again from there while earning wins at Johnny Brown Gym.

The Lady Chiefs used eight 3-pointers, six of which came before halftime, to outdistance Northgate's girls in a 50-24 win despite a 14-point effort from Lady Vikings junior Ebonee Echols.

McIntosh's Cassidy Williams, one of five juniors on the roster, had 15 in the victory which saw the Lady Chiefs put together a nine-point surge to open the second quarter before taking a 28-8 lead into halftime.

The Vikings, meanwhile, never were able to take a lead in a 79-50 loss to a young McIntosh boys lineup that started three sophomores and stayed unbeaten against all Region 4-AAAAA opponents at 7-0 and 10-4 overall.

The Chiefs used a 12-0 first-quarter run to quickly build a double-digit lead before giving way to its bench. McIntosh reserves scored all 13 points in the second en route to a 39-25 halftime advantage.

In both cases, Northgate teams were haunted by the inability to capitalize on opportunities.

Turnovers doomed the Vikings (5-7), who committed no less than 20 for the game and at least a dozen by halftime while falling to 2-5 against region foes and 0-1 in subregion play.

Finishing with a team-high 17-point effort among three Chiefs in double-figures sophomore guard Will Washington helped create his team's momentum.

Washington went coast-to-coast for a layup off a defensive rebound on a three-point play and less than a minute later found fellow sophomore starter, Dishon Lowery, under the basket to push an early 14-5 lead amidst a nine-point surge over 2:15 of the opening quarter in between a Northgate timeout.

Lowery added 15 points in the win while sophomore Jemel Ahmed had 11 off the bench including three 3-pointers.

Northgate never recovered from the early deficit despite receiving a game-high 20-point performance from senior Wendell Watson, whose basket to open the second quarter helped bring the Vikings within a 10-point deficit, but no further.

Much like its girls, McIntosh came out firing from long distance early with six 3-pointers before halftime including three by senior guard Alex Cervantes in the first quarter. But from there, Chiefs coach Jason Eisele confidently went to his bench for contributions from four reserves in the second period.

McIntosh was equally accurate from the line, hitting 13 of 17 attempts through three quarters and putting Viking starters Alex Rutherford and Armond Upshaw in foul trouble.

Northgate struggled both to get to the line and equally to convert, going just 7 of 18 on its attempts despite Rutherford going 3-for-4 late to finish a nine-point outing. Fellow seniors Aldrickus Evans and Jacob Robinson added eight in the loss.

In the girls game, early shooting woes allowed the Lady Chiefs to turn a 5-2 lead into a 13-4 advantage at the end of the opening period. Northgate then missed three straight shots while being held scoreless over a six-minute span to begin the second before Lyric Underwood finally was able to convert a loose ball under the basket for a 25-6 deficit.

Instantly, however, Williams answered back with a 3-pointer for her final points of the half. The Lady Chief sat for all but four minutes of the second half, adding two field goals and an assist in the final

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