Chiefs, Lady Chiefs wrap up home slate; prepare for playoffs
Published 11:03 pm Wednesday, February 5, 2003
By By James Crawford
Northview High School wrapped up its last home game of the season with high flying action, nail-biting turnarounds and a last second loss in a dramatic if not completely satisfying night.
In a game that never had more than 12 points between the two teams, the 13-7 Chief's fought and struggled as they watched an 11 point lead slip away in the fourth quarter to end their last home game of the season with a one-point 65-64 loss to the visiting 12-10 Flomaton Hurricanes.
"We didn't shoot free throws well. Anytime you don't you'll see the effects at the end of the game," Chiefs Head Coach Cliff Gillies said. "We've won some close one's like this. If you shoot free throws well, you'll win; if you don't, you'll lose."
Northview took the lead early on in the first quarter under stiff competition from the Canes. Daryl Cohen dropped in two three-pointers back to back to give the Chief's an early boost that they used to increased their lead to as much as 13 at one point before seeing it dwindle to only three at the half.
Shane Johnson added several baskets of his own and played a major factor under the basket, helping to control the rebound effort. Cohen saved a basket in the last few seconds with a high-flying block to preserve the Chief's first half lead.
Flomaton came out of the gate in the second half on fire. The Canes controlled offensive rebounds and slowed the tempo more to their liking. They looked more energetic and their shots were dead on.
"We played hard. Not forcing it and slowing things down helped us. It let us rest a bit," Flomaton Head Coach Scott Cambell said. "We were in foul trouble. The late lay-ups after the break really helped."
Cohen again went deep for three to get the Chief's on a roll again. John Madison had a dramatic steal that resulted in a basket that didn't count but gave the Chief's a pep boost.
Cohen continued the rise with a high-flying slam-dunk that saw him hang in the air for nearly three seconds. Unfortunately, both antics cost the Chiefs with foul calls that resulted in points against them.
Flomaton used the momentum to score three unanswered baskets against the Chief's before Cohen again drops in two to turn the tide back to Northview.
Flomaton stole the ball for a basket to tie the game with just over a minute left to play. The Canes dropped in one from under the basket to take the lead 63-61 with 27 seconds left and added two more from the free-throw line after being fouled twice. Cohen drops in one to take it to 65-62 with nine seconds left after four chances at the line. He tried for three but hit the rim before the Chiefs called a time out.
With two seconds on the clock Cohen leaped in the air to snag the ball away from a Flomaton player on the toss in and launched a three-point attempt from nearly mid-court that missed the basket by only inches.
Lady Chiefs win, 68-56
The Lady Chiefs, 7-14 for the season, had better luck earlier in the night and got to enjoy the sweet taste of home-court victory one last time this season by holding onto a lead to take a 68-56 victory from the visiting 15-9 Hurricanes.
The first half of the contest belonged to Flomaton with Shaquita Odom, standing right at six feet tall, controlling the rebounds and the action under the basket. The Lady Chiefs adjusted and closed the gap to a trail by just one point at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter didn't fair any better for Northview with the girls finally tying the game at 15-15 late in the quarter before taking a narrow lead. The girls managed to hold that lead through the remainder of the game.
"It feels good," said Shana Barton after celebrating the victory with her teammates. "We are seniors and this is our last game, so it meant a lot."
Northview's Alexis White had a steal in the fourth that resulted in a basket and a renewed vigor for the Lady Chiefs in the fourth, spurring them on to increase their lead by as much as 13 at one point before Flomaton battled back under the basket and again began to control the rebounds.
"They out-hustled us tonight," Flomaton Head Coach George Brown said. "I have to give it to Northview, they made all their shots and we didn't."
Northview's Junior Varsity Boys also had a good night with a 37-36 narrow win over Flomaton's JV team. "It was a real good win for the boys. We had lost four or five straight earlier in the season until we hit a winning streak," JV Boys Head Coach Henry Johnson said. "We only had two or three wins last year so they feel real good about this year." The Chief's varsity teams are on the road this Friday at West Florida.