Prep Basketball: Late surge by Whitewater sinks Vikings in loss
By DOUG GORMAN
The Northgate Vikings might remember Tuesday night’s Region 4B-AAAAA contest with visiting Whitewater as the one they let slip away.
After three quarters of exchanging the lead, Whitewater took control of the game over the final eight minutes and returned back to Fayetteville with a hard-fought 65-54 victory.
“We played hard,” Northgate head coach Mack Cain said. “I can’t say anything other than that. It was a good team we lost to tonight.”
Whitewater took a 43-42 lead into the fourth quarter and finally wore down the Vikings, outscoring Northgate 22-12 in the final period to win going away.
The Vikings stayed in the game by hitting shots from long range. Northgate finished the contest with seven 3-pointers.
Luke Motzel drilled a 3-point shot late in the fourth quarter to cut the lead back to single digits at 57-50, but Whitewater closed out the game on a 8-4 run.
Aldrecus Evans paced the Vikings’ offense with 12 points. Motzel finished with 10. Whitewater’s Phil Cofer led all scorers with 28 points. Kyle Dugger added 15 and Darius Sharpe chipped in 10.
(To photos from these games, please visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Sports for the Photo Gallery.)
Cofer, the Wildcats, 6-8 junior, dominated the game early by scoring 12 of his team's 15 points in the first quarter as Whitewater built a 15-13 lead.
With Cofer take control of the game inside the paint, including four of his points coming on dunks, Northgate had its own offensive weapon with Evans connecting on two 3-point shots in the first quarter.
Northgate whittled away at the Wildcats’ lead throughout the second quarter. Motzel’s basket at the 6:42 mark of the second period gave the Vikings their first lead of the game at 17-15.
The Vikings took another lead at 23-22 late in the second quarter on Wendell Watson’s trey before the Wildcats eventually turned a one-point deficit into a 29-28 lead.
Northgate took control of the game early in the third quarter on a pair of treys from Motzel and Evans.
Evans' 3-pointer gave the Vikings a 40-36 cushion when Cofer took control of the game again with two back-to-back baskets.
Brother Mike Cofer added a key basket late in the third quarter to give the Wildcats a 43-42 lead.
Whitewater would never trail again, however in the fourth quarter, the Vikings cut into the lead one last time midway through the fourth quarter.
Trailing 47-42, Northgate's Tyler Dalhberg connected on a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 47-45. Motzel’s basket on the Vikings’ next trip down the floor tied the game for the last time at 47-47.
Northgate closes out the regular season with games at Starr’s Mill Friday and at home Saturday against Pike County.
The contest will be Cain’s last home game. After more than two decades as a head coach Cain is retiring at the end of the school year.
“I told our guys after the game that I was proud of the effort,” Cain said. “We have two big games coming up and we are going to keep working.”
• Girls – Whitewater 53, Northgate 32
The Whitewater Lady Wildcats led from start to finish Tuesday night to defeat Northgate 53-32.
Whitewater built a 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended it to 31-15 at the break en route to the win.
After Taylor Kidner hit a pair of free throws in the first quarter for Northgate to cut the lead to 11-8, the Lady Wildcats seized the momentum with an 11-0 run. Northgate took itself out of the game with some lean offensive production in the second quarter as it only hit one of three shots from the field.
Katie Mitchell was responsible for most of the Lady Vikings’ offensive production finishing the game with two 3-point shots and 14 points. Kaeyln Duggers scored 10 points in the first quarter for the Lady Wildcats and finished with a game-high 17. Teammate Jada Collins added 12.
Northgate fell to 5-14 overall and 2-11 in Region 4B-AAAAA. Whitewater improved to 13-9 overall and 7-5.
BOYS – Whitewater 65, Northgate 54
Whitewate 15 14 14 22 – 65
Northgate 13 15 14 12 – 54
Whitewater (65) – Phil Cofer 28, Darius Sharpe 10, Mike Cofer 4, David Bowler 6, Kyle Dugger 15, Justin Simpson-James 2
Northgate (54) – Wendell Watson 7, Aldrecus Evans 12, Peyton Cain 1, Luke Motzel 10, Tyler Dalhberg 8, Adrian Tolbert 9, Alex Rutherford 7
GIRLS – Whitewater 53, Northgate 32
Whitewater 21 10 9 13 – 53
Northgate 8 7 8 9 – 32
Whitewater (53) – Rena Jenkins 7, Danielle Ross 6, Jordan Barnett 4, Cheyenne Hall 2, Briana Hollins 3, Jada Coggins 12, Alexa Baugneter 2, Kaelyn Dugger 17
Northgate (32) – Ebonee Echols 8, Quianna LeBlanc 2, Taylor Kidner 2, Katie Mitchell 14, Alexis Sutton 4, Alexis Huling 2