Northern takes a pair at Riverside
Northern got in a groove early and stayed there, taking apart Riverside 88-63 for a road win in PAC-6 boys’ basketball on Friday
In the girls’ game, Northern eked out a close one behind 21 point by Zuri White for a 53-52 victory.
A coach from the University of Maryland women’s basketball program was there to check out Riverside’s Moné Jones, who scored 17 points.
“We got out-rebounded by No. 11,” Riverside coach Alicia Jones said of White. “We could not lock her up. We allowed her to get some very crucial put-backs.”
Northern coach Pam Adams: “We didn’t take care of the ball like we should’ve, but when it came down to the end, we hustled our butts off.”
The boys’ game is the third straight that the Pirates were without talented freshman Justice Kithcart, who had been starting at point guard before getting hurt in last week’s Tobacco Road Holiday Basketball Invitational at Riverside.
The Pirates lost in the championship game of that tournament. Riverside coach Brian Strickland didn’t use Kithcart’s absence as an excuse then, nor did he do so after the Northern game.
“They jumped on us early,” Strickland said about the Knights, who lost in the consolation round of that tournament at Riverside. “You have to give credit to them. They shot the ball very well and executed their offense very well.”
Riverside’s Al Hughes (21 points) amused the home crowd with a second-half scoring flurry, but the Knights took the Pirates to school, working the ball around for open looks and making them.
“We knew that’s what he was going to do at the end,” Northern coach Ronnie Russell said of Hughes. “We just needed to be steady, and we did that tonight.”
Northern’s Kentrell Barkley had a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Ricky Council II had 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Knights.
“We just moved the ball, penetrated and kicked and got Ricky open,” Barkley said.
Riverside has some length down low in Mike Tillotson (13 points) and Jordan Jones (2 points) — both of them standing 6-8. So Northern needed to play disciplined, fundamental basketball, Russell said.
“We knew we had to block out,” Russell said. “That was one of the things we had to do was block out, make sure everybody rebounded.”
Playing without his signature goggles, Council tore through the lane for a second-half dunk and missed.
Council was wearing contact lenses, but he said that’s not the reason he couldn’t flush that ball.
“I saw the rim,” Council said. “I caught a cramp in my leg as soon as I jumped.”
Council said he’s not sure whether he will stick with the contacts or go back to his goggles.
Russell cast a vote for the new look.
“Stay with the contacts,” Russell said. “Whatever works.”
Northern (B) 88, Riverside 63
NORTHERN — Ryan Arundale 3, Jaquan Harris 17, Marcellus Allison 2, Kentrell Barkley 25, Dillon Leovic 5, Ricky Council II 19, Kourtney Farrow 2, Avion Jordan 4, T.J. Bell 6, Emmett Tilley 5.
RIVERSIDE — Mark Harris 2, Jake Kusz 3, Jordan Jones 2, Jordan McCain 6, Joey Cabrera 4, Mike Singletary 4, Mike Tillotson 13, Al Hughes 21, Mike Hodge 8.
Records—Northern 8-6, 1-2 PAC-6; Riverside 7-7, 1-1.
Northern (G) 53, Riverside 52
NORTHERN — Jakia Dixon 2, Ashlyn Scoggins 2, Zuri White 21, Mekaila Shaw 2, Nicole Crutchfield 6, Rhianna Council 13, Mckenzie Utley 5, Mohargany Jones 2.
RIVERSIDE — Zaria Rogers 6, Andrea Anna Pool 7, Yakima Clifton 7, Atlanta Woodall 2, Meghan Pleasants 2, Charneseya Moye 2, Moné ones 17, Kiara Jacobs 9.
Records—Northern 8-4, 2-1 PAC-6; Riverside 7-7, 1-1.