Northampton rolls over Gates

Published 10:18 am Monday, January 7, 2013

GATESVILLE – Building blocks.

They’ve all been adding up for Northampton High School the deeper the Jaguars go into their basketball season.

Friday night the Jags laid another brick in the wall when they ran their 1-A Tar-Roanoke Conference mark to 2-0 with a 64-37 road win over Gates County.

Barkim Moses had 19 points – 10 in the second half – to lead the Jags’ effort.  He also had three blocked shots. Ketrell Miles added 15 points to go with seven rebounds, while Keion Crossen put up 13 points and had four steals.

Jermaine Holley was Gates’ leading scorer with eight points.

In all, the Jaguars forced 15 turnovers on a night when Gates had trouble hanging onto the ball and Northampton easily flipped those turnovers into points.

“We’re coming around,” said Northampton coach Jonathan White, modestly. “We’re playing tough and getting ready for our conference run, and the post-season.

“All the teams we’ve lost to this year were playoff teams last year,” he added.

With five players 6’-5” or taller, Northampton broke open a close game with a 22-point second quarter and coasted from there.

Oftentimes, the Jaguars delighted the crowd with wild playground moves in a game where they easily could have scored eighty.

Gates had their own crowd cheering early as the Red Barons scored six of the games first 10 points, the last two coming on a dunk by Donnie King.  But the Jags got a conventional three-point play from Moses and took a 7-6 lead.

It was 9-6, Northampton, before Gates reeled off eight in a row to take their biggest lead, 14-9.  But the Jags overcame the Red Baron zone and closed out the quarter with a six-point run of their own and led by one, after one, 15-14.

Northampton opened the second quarter with a tight man-to-man defense, forcing Gates to turn the ball over numerous times. It led to a 12-2 run by the Jags and a 27-15 Northampton lead.

Gates stayed off-balance for the rest of the half  because of the pressure; only getting a pair of free throws before Andrew Wiggins dropped a three-pointer with time expiring.

But by that time Northampton had put up 10 more of their own and had a comfortable 17-point lead, 37-20, at the break.

The discomfort continued for Gates in the third quarter. Northampton opened with a 6-2 to lead by 21.

Holley, for Gates, was held in check as much by the Jaguar defense as poor shooting on his own and finished with just three second half points.

With seven straight before the horn sounded, Northampton was easily in command, 50-28, with just eight minutes left to play.

The Jags took their largest lead of the night – 23 points – in the final frame, 53-30. White, with such a deep Northampton bench, ran players in-and-out all night and by the fourth quarter every Jag had seen action on the floor.

Sloppy play defined the final five minutes of the game, as the crowd began to thin, but when the final horn sounded, the Jags had made their point on the night: they will be a contender in the league, if not the favorite.

“They’re the tallest team we’ll probably see all season,” said Gates coach Charlie Mitchell, shaking his head. “All night my guys were looking up at trees in the paint.

“Still, we’re strong and we work hard,” he added. “We just have to get our basketball-IQ up a bit.”

On the other side,  White said, “Our seniors have got to be more leaders.  With just three or four sophomores we have to get much better with our execution.”

Northampton moved within a game of .500 at 5-6, and 2-0 in Tar-Roanoke league action.

Gates fell to 1-11 and 0-2 in conference.

The Jaguars are at Rocky Mount Prep on Tuesday while Gates is at North Edgecombe on Wednesday.