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Paramount runs past Northwood
SANTA ANA – Johnathan Fleming scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, and Paramount's boys basketball team raced to a 74-64 victory over Northwood on Friday in the semifinals of the Century Elks Holiday Classic at Century High.
Fleming led the Pirates (9-5) with 16 points, and Paramount had six players score at least nine.
Brian Fineanganofo put the Pirates on top early. The senior center was a force inside, scoring eight points and adding three blocks in the first 10 minutes.
Paramount led 14-10 after the first quarter, but the Pirates' cold outside shooting was a cause for concern. Pirates coach Mark McGarry remedied the problem by asking his players to play at a quicker pace.
"We wanted to increase the tempo to see if we could get some easier baskets," he said.
Both teams consented to a track meet from the second quarter on. The Timberwolves (9-5) more than doubled their offensive output in the second, scoring 22 points to close to three at halftime.
Although Northwood kept up with the Pirates through 16 minutes, the frenetic pace aided Paramount in the second half. The Pirates did not commit a turnover in the third quarter while converting four steals into seven points.
Leading 52-45 going into the fourth quarter, the Pirates had one goal in mind. Paramount needed to learn how to close games out.
"That was the key for us. We haven't finished games," McGarry said. "We have five losses, and in each one we were up in the last 1:30 of the game."
Kevin Norman scored seven consecutive points in the fourth quarter to complete his 22-point night, but the Pirates held on to snap Northwood's three-game winning streak.
Also in the Century Elks Holiday Classic:
Glendora 55, Valencia 29: The Tartans (13-1) won their 12th game in a row and advanced to the championship game by shutting down the Tigers (6-8) at Century High.
Brandon Brothers led Glendora with 23 points, while Noah Epp paced Valencia with nine points.