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Ridgway boys basketball made the opposition miserable in the minutes before halftime for the second consecutive night.
The Elkers closed out the half with an 8-0 run and propelled Ridgway to a 55-40 victory over Brookville Wednesday night at Ridgway Area High School.
Ridgway had a similar run against DuBois Central Catholic Tuesday night in a 42-31 win over the Cardinals. Brookville won 56-39 on Jan. 19, 2011 over Ridgway on the Raiders' home floor.
"It's a very good Brookville team," Ridgway coach Anthony Allegretto said. "Last year, they got us on their court, this year, we got them on our court. It's a tough win."
Ridgway (11-0) and Brookville were tied at 15-all with 3:10 left in the half before senior guard Eric Matheson and junior forward Josh Mitchell put in back-to-back field goals to up the Ridgway lead to 19-15.
Jordan Lundin then drew a charge on Brookville (9-3) senior center Zane Hackett, who is listed at 6-feet, 6-inches tall. Lundin then made his presence felt on the offensive end as Matheson fed him with a pass for a layup and a 21-15 lead with 1:42 left before halftime.
Jesse Reynolds added a bucket on a fast break with 45 seconds left as Ridgway led 23-15 at halftime. Reynolds finished with 11 points.
"We got that lead with a little run late in the first half and having that lead, we could control the tempo a little bit more in the second half," Allegretto said.
Matheson opened the third quarter with a field goal before Brookville broke the offensive drought as Hackett finished a 3-point play.
The three points were quickly answered as Reynolds hit a shot from beyond the arc. Matheson did the same moments later as the Elkers had its biggest lead to that point, 31-18.
"Coming out with an 8-point lead, we were able to turn up the pressure a little bit," Allegretto said. "They had to force the issue, they couldn't let us get any further ahead."
Austin Burney converted a 3-point play for the Raiders but the Elkers added nine points in a row to take control. Junior center Sam Roselli added a layup and Matheson followed with a crossover move on the baseline to drive to the hoop and two more points.
"Sam came in because we were in foul trouble at the post," Allegretto said. "We made some nice plays and got some easy runouts. It's a good way to extend the lead. It was nice to get Sam Roselli some time and see him play some quality minutes."
Matheson then fed Reynolds for a layup as the Brookville defense collapsed on Ridgway's point guard. Matheson hit one free throw with 58 seconds left as the Elkers led 40-21. In all, it was a 25-6 run from the 15-all tie near the midpoint of the second quarter.
Brookville would hang around in the fourth quarter as Tighe Truman drained a pair of treys, the second of which put the Raiders within 10 at 43-33 with five minutes left.
"Truman, he hit a couple of big threes," Allegretto said. "Our kids kind of thought it was over. I said, 'Hey, they can get back in it quick.' Truman hit a couple threes and made it a little hairy at the end."
At 47-36, Ridgway went on an 8-0 run. First, Tony Leithner added a field goal, then Matheson scored six straight points as he was able to find open space in the lane for short shots. Matheson led all scorers with 18 points.
"At the end, Eric was the leader," Allegretto said. "He controlled the team at the end and got some easy hoops for himself and for his teammates."
Hackett was making his presence felt early in the game as he scored Brookville's first seven points. He opened up the game with a post move and then made a free throw. A Lundin 3-pointer tied the game early for Ridgway but Hackett scored on an alleyoop layup with six minutes left in the first quarter for a 5-3 Raider lead. Hackett added another layup for a 7-3 lead. Hackett led the Raiders with 15 points but was just 3-for-7 from the free throw line. Brookville as a team was 8-for-17 (47 percent). Roselli, Mitchell, Alex Oknefski and Leithner was the four players who rotated guarding Hackett and prevented him from dominating the offensive post area.
"They do a lot of nice things," Allegretto said. "Hackett's a heck of a player. Coach Baughman does a nice job."
Lundin added two straight field goals to tie the game at 7-all as he finished with 12 points.
"Jordan made some nice passes early in the game against the zone," Allegretto said. "He made that nice pass to Tony Leithner. Plus, he runs the baseline so well, he got a couple of cheapies when other people drove the middle. He does a lot of nice things for us."
Truman and Leithner alternated field goals as the first quarter finished in a 9-all tie.
Reynolds and Truman opened the second quarter with field goals for their respective teams to tie the game at 11-all. Aaron Sorge and Matheson contributed four straight points for the Elkers as Ridgway had a 15-11 lead with five minutes left before halftime. Brookville would score four straight before the 8-0 run for Ridgway which closed out the half.
Ridgway hosts Johnsonburg (9-2) on Friday night with junior varsity action to start at 6 p.m.
"Every time you play Johnsonburg, you got two quality teams," Allegretto said. "It's going to be like the (county) tournament all over again. Whoever gets the lead at the right time will have the upper hand. It's going to be a lot of fun."
In Wednesday's junior varsity game, Ridgway won by a score of 52-34.