Northern's 6-5 dynamic duo of Council, Barkley dominate Hillside
The scoreboard shut off twice early in the third quarter.
For the Northern boys basketball team, the technical malfunction was about all that could keep it off the scoreboard as the Knights matched their second-highest point total of the season with a 91-63 PAC-6 4-A victory at Hillside on Friday.
Ricky Council and Kentrell Barkley, Northern’s athletic 6-5 stars, were too much for Hillside as the Knights dominated the offensive glass and scored easily near the hoop.
“It’s a plus to have big men who can do that,” said Northern coach Ronnie Russell of Council and Barkley, who both played much of the night above the rim. “It works perfect for what we want to do.”
Northern’s athletic dominance was established from the get-go. On the Knights’ second possession, Barkley took a fast break for a slam dunk to take a 4-0 lead. Not to be out done, Council capitalized off Dillon Leovic’s steal the next possession and completed a fast-break play with a reverse slam dunk.
Council and Barkley were the game’s high scorers with 31 and 22 points, respectively.
Jarrod France got Hillside its first points with a corner three pointer. However, the Knights responded as Council found Leovic for a backdoor layup on the next play.
As Northern continued to find success on fast-break plays, Hillside retreated from its full-court press and into a half-court trap defense.
The Knights figured it out as they moved the ball crisply around the perimeter and often found an open man beneath the basket or at the top of the key. They took a 45-22 lead into halftime.
“I think we recognized what they were doing defensively and that helped us,” Russell said.
Hillside found its offensive voice in the third quarter. Despite their size disadvantage, the Hornets found success powering the ball inside. After being held scoreless in the first half, Hillside big man Malik Evans scored eight points in the third quarter by getting good looks near the basket.
The Hornets cut the Knights’ lead to 15 points entering the final period.
The modest rally was hardly enough. Council emphatically threw down a dunk as the Knights went on an 8-1 run to start the fourth quarter.
“We don’t just look for that (dunks),” Russell said. “It’s something we do in transition, but it gets out guys fired up.”
From beginning to end, the Knights simply played on another level — one where the air is thinner.
Hillside’s girls had a better night as Jakelbi Lewis scored 16 points in a 68-36 romp over rival Northern. Rhianna Council had 26 for the Knights.
NORTHERN 91, HILLSIDE 63
Northern 14 31 14 32 — 91
Hillside 7 15 22 19 — 63
NORTHERN — Ricky Council 31, Kentrell Barkley 22, Timothy Bell 12, Tahj Small 9, Timothy Crutchfield 6, Dillon Leovic 4, Emmett Tilley 4, Isaiah Townsend 2, Avion Jordan 1.
HILLSIDE — Marcus Bowling 12, Robert Robinson 11, Justice Kithcart 11, Malik Evans 9, Jarrod France 9, Lashone McCrea 5, Timothy Mangum 2, Jalen McGee 2, Oderah Udemadu 2, Jamari Warren 1.
3-Point Field Goals — Northern 2 (Council 1, Small 1); Hillside 2 ( France 2).
Records — Northern 14-1, 3-0 PAC-6 4-A; Hillside 7-5, 1-2 PAC-6.
HILLSIDE 68, NORTHERN 36
Northern 4 13 4 15 — 36
Hillside 16 13 21 18 — 68
NORTHERN — Rhianna Council 26, Jza-Quashia Chavis 6, Kolby Snipes 2, Andrea Graham 2.
HILLSIDE — Jakelbi Lewis 16, Mya Webb 12, Justine Lyon 10, Tykyrah Williams 7, Zuri White 6, Kirsten Smith 5, Khara Herring 4, Elisia Grissett 2, Brittany Powell 2, Charlotte George 2, Amanda Lawrence 2.
3-Point goals — Northern 1 (Council 1). Hillside 6 (Lewis 3, Williams 1, Webb 2).
Records — Northern 8-6, 2-1 PAC-6 4-A; Hillside 9-5, 2-1 PAC-6.