Springdale boys sloppy in 1st quarter but beat Northgate in opener

Friday, January 8, 2021 | 9:38 PM

Springdale boys basketball coach Aaron Epps was expecting his team to be sloppy Friday night as it opened its season with a nonsection matchup against Northgate at Donald C. McGhee Fieldhouse.

So, when the Dynamos only scored nine points in the first quarter, compared to Northgate’s six, Epps wasn’t surprised.

“A lot of these kids, they didn’t play in a fall league, summer league. They didn’t play AAU, a lot of them, so it was actually our first game as a complete team since our loss to Winchester Thurston last year,” Epps said. “It was good just to get out there and get the rust off.”

The Dynamos started to look much more like themselves in the second quarter. Sophomore Chris Mitchell stepped up on defense and brought a different level of intensity that allowed Springdale to limit Northgate to just three points, all in the final seconds of the quarter. They also found rhythm on offense and built a 12-point lead at halftime before cruising to a 48-24 victory.

“I thought Chris Mitchell’s ball pressure, I thought it kind of changed the game, his energy,” Epps said. “He started picking everybody else up, and it was kind of the turning point of the game.”

Gov. Tom Wolf paused high school sports in mid-December, and high school winter sports teams returned to practice Monday. 

“We just were happy to get out there, to be honest, and I think there were a lot of nerves today,” Epps said. “We wanted to get that first one out of the way, and it’s good that we’re playing. The kids are happy. I knew that we’d be a little rusty, but I was happy with our defense. I thought our defense was really good tonight. The offense will come, but our defense was good.”

Springdale heated up in the third quarter with 22 points. Demitri Fritch scored eight of his 15 points in the quarter, and the Dynamos started to rebound and get into their transition game. Along with Fritch, each player that scored Friday chipped in during the third quarter. Logan Dexter scored three, Mitchell two, Ryan Reinsfelder one of his two 3-pointers, Ben Myford seven and Logan Reddinger two.

The Dynamos were firing on all cylinders, which Epps likes to see.

“We didn’t rebound in the first half, and you can’t run if you don’t rebound,” Epps said. “So we started rebounding the ball and started running the floor hard, and it opened up everything else for us. We are much better when we are getting up and down the court.”

Along with Fritch, Myford scored in double-digits at 16 points.

Northgate’s Josh Dugan scored a team-high 10 points.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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