Fayette boys, girls pound Northgate

Wed, 01/30/2008 - 12:56am
By: Kevin Wandra

Some wondered how both the Fayette County Tigers and Lady Tigers would react following heartbreaking losses to Region 2-AAAA rival Westlake last week.

The Tigers took out their frustrations on another region rival, the Northgate Vikings, Tuesday night, cruising to a 68-41 victory in Fayetteville.

Fayette’s girls also crushed Northgate at home, 45-31.

Fayette’s boys improved their overall record to 15-8 and region record to 11-3 with their victory, and Fayette’s girls improved their overall record to 17-5 and region record to 12-2 with the win.

The Fayette-Northgate boys game was close with three minutes left in the first half; Fayette held only a six-point lead following back-to-back jumpers by Northgate’s Brennan Hopkins.

Then Fayette went on a 11-2 run to close the first half with a commanding 34-19 lead. Four different players scored for Fayette during its run, including Noel Johnson, who ignited the run with five points.

Fayette’s superior talent took over the rest of the way; the Tigers were dominant on offense, both inside and outside, and its defensive pressure smothered Northgate’s offensive attack.

Fayette scored seven consecutive points — four by Johnson, three by Terrence Turner — to increase its lead to 17 (48-21) with three minutes left in the third quarter, which concluded with the Tigers holding a 53-29 lead.

With most of its reserves on the floor, Fayette continued to pounce on the Vikings in the fourth quarter, in which the Tigers outscored the Vikings 15-7.

Fayette coach Andre Flynn was impressed with his team's performance at both ends of the court.

"We spread the floor and spaced out offensively," Flynn said. "We did an excellent job of running our halfcourt offense. I liked how we passed the ball and looked for open shots. I was pleased with our offensive execution.

"We're coming around defensively, too. The last few games, we have played pretty well on defense. We wanted to step it up a little, though, and play more man-to-man, which we did."

Johnson led all scorers with 22 points. Fayette had one other player score in double figures, Turner, who had 15 points.

Brandon Boykin scored eight points and Aaron Rushton added six for Fayette.

Hopkins scored 12 points and Derrick Brisbane had eight to lead Northgate.

The Fayette girls got off to a slow start against Northgate, which came as somewhat of a surprise, considering Fayette easily handled Northgate earlier this season, 46-30. Fayette’s largest lead in the first half was only six.

The Lady Tigers began to break away late in the third quarter, going on a 6-0 run that featured back-to-back baseline jumpers from Kristene Walker and handed Fayette a 34-27 lead.

Fayette put away the pesky Lady Vikings for good in the fourth quarter, outscoring Northgate 11-4.

Two free throws by Tessah Holt put Fayette in front by double digits, 41-30, with 2:27 to go, and Fayette led by double digits the rest of the way.

"After the loss to Westlake on Friday night, I could not wait to get back on the court on Tuesday," Fayette coach John Strickland said. "The greatest remedy for a loss is a win. Northgate played us the way I expect teams to be playing this time of year. It is almost region and state playoff time.

"I was pleased with our performance."

Fayette’s Anma Onyeuku had a double-double. She scored a team-high 12 points, half of which came in the opening quarter, and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Holt scored nine points and had four steals and three assists, and Jasmine Facey, Sasha Sims and Walker each scored six points for Fayette.

Natalie Pluskota scored a game-high 13 points and Brianna Banks scored 10 for the Lady Vikings.

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