The Northside boys basketball team took a week off to get some rest, but the Vikings didn’t get a chance to run much Saturday afternoon against Episcopal.
The Knights dictated a deliberate pace, but it was Northside that made the plays it needed to win. The Vikings made 7 of 10 free throws in overtime to hold off Episcopal 41-35 at Madison Prep Academy’s Hall of Fame Classic at Southern University’s F.G. Clark Center.
Episcopal (20-4) had a chance to break a 34-34 tie with less than a second to play in regulation. The Knights ran an inbounds play from midcourt, but Kevin Tripeaux couldn’t handle the pass.
In overtime, Northside (14-7) hit both ends of two one-and-ones to take a 38-34 lead. Episcopal missed its first three shots in overtime, and scored only on Cameron Dumas’ free throw.
Brandon Ellis, who led Northside with 14 points, made two free throws to put the game away with 10 seconds left.
“We had the week off to get our legs back, and get ready for district,” Northside coach Ross Rix said. “This was a good win against a good Episcopal team. We tried picking up the pace in the first half, and we weren’t successful.
“We decided to continue to play slow and just slug it out.”
Also hitting double figures for Northside were Jonte Morrison with 13 and Darius Randell with 11.
Chris Beckman, Jr., made four 3-pointers and topped Episcopal with 17 points.
Northside led 8-7 after the first quarter. The teams were tied at 17 at halftime and at 24 after three quarters.
“We had an off night shooting. I think a lot of that was having an overtime game last night,” Episcopal coach Chris Beckman, Sr. said. “We got a little tired and had to work for some shots. You have to give Northside credit for making us work.”
Christian Life 55, Helen Cox 53
Sam Williams lobbed an inbounds pass to Ludovic Kader with .1 seconds left in the game, and Kader responded with a short bank shot for the game-winner.
Kader, who shot the ball as he leapt and caught it, finished with 17 points. The basket capped a scrambling finish for Christian Life (17-2), which trailed 52-46 with two minutes left.
“Our guys didn’t give up,” CLA coach Stephen Dale said. “They had a chance to make a play at the end. We drew it up, they executed it, and we’ll take it.”
The final basket spoiled a 33-point effort by Cox’s Roydell Brown.
Christian Life got five 3-pointers and 17 points from Marquis Webb, who helped the Crusaders take a 27-20 lead with five minutes to go in the first half. Cox’s front line of 6-foot-8 Khalea Turner, 6-7 Shadow Haywood and the 6-4 Brown began to take its toll.
Cox held CLA to three points over an eight-minute span that bridged the second and third quarters. The Crusaders recovered to take a 44-42 lead after three, but then went scoreless for the first four minutes of the fourth quarter.
“At the end of the day all we tried to do was get our guys to play hard,” Dale said. “We knew it was going to be tough dealing with their size. We told them to play hard every possession, and you’ll have a great chance to win at the end.”