Vikings let one get away in 4-AAAAA opener

by Doug Gorman

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Northgate's Aldrickus Evans tries to split between a pair of defenders from Mt. Zion-Jonesboro en route to the basket during Tuesday's Region 4-AAAAA opener at Johnny Brown Gym. Evans scored 26 points while helping the Vikings take a 11-point lead at halftime, but the team couldn't hang on in the final two minutes before falling 81-74. Northgate teams return to the court tonight with a trip to play Mundy's Mill in a game that was originally scheduled for Friday. The Tigers will be playing in the state football playoffs that night. 

Northgate's boys basketball team might best remember Tuesday Region 4-AAAAA opener as 'the one that got away.'

Despite a halftime lead of 11-points and as many as 14 early in the third quarter, the Vikings picked the worst possible time to cold in a 81-74 loss to Mt. Zion-Jonesboro.

'We just didn't play with a lot of intensity.I could feel it in the first half,' said Northgate first-year coach Maurice Smith. 'We only had an 11-point lead at the half, and it should have been larger.'

Northgate dropped to 0-2 on the season. Mt. Zion moved to 1-1.

The good news for Northgate is there isn't too much time to think about Tuesday's loss. The Vikings hit the road tonight for a game at Mundy's Mill in a doubleheader rescheduled from this Friday when the Tigers' football team is scheduled to play in the secondround of the Class AAAAA playoffs.

'The good thing about basketball is there isn't too much time between games,' Smith said. 'I am the guys are going to bounce back from this.'

Both teams turned the contest nto a 3-point shooting affair, especially early.

Northgate used the longrange 3-point shot to its advantage in the first two quarters draining five of the long-range jumpers from four different people.

Aldrickus Evans nailed down two of the 3-pointers in the second quarter and Daquan Ramey and Alex Rutherford each had one to push the lead to Vikings out to their doubledigit lead the break.

Evans led the Vikings with 26 points. Rutherford added 10. Ramey used two 3-pointers to finish with 8.

Paul Miller led Mt. Zion with 19.

Northgate came out firing on all cylinders early in the third period as Ramey drilleda 3-pointer to give the Vikings the biggest lead at 44-30.

Miller took over the game for the Bulldogs hitting two 3-point shots and also taking the ball into the paint for a basket as part of his 11-point quarter.

Mt. Zion clawed its way back with Miller's play and scoring from four other teammates to go on a 21-7 run in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs put the game away at the in the fourth quarter with clutch free throw shooting.

Miller connected on 3 of 4 attempts and the Bulldogs defense allowed the Vikings to hit just three shots from the field, two coming on treys by Evans the last minute of the game.



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