Ridgway boys basketball continued its undefeated run with a 42-31 victory over DuBois Central Catholic Tuesday night in an AML South matchup at Ridgway Area High School.
Ridgway (10-0 overall, 3-0 AML South) took control of the game with a 19-2 run in the last five minutes of the second quarter. DCC (2-10. 2-1) had stayed with the Elkers through the first 11 minutes and were within two at 14-12. Baskets by Jesse Reynolds and Eric Matheson sandwiched two missed free throws by the Cardinals to extend the lead to 18-12. A 3-point play by Jordan Lundin pushed the lead to nine and had DCC taking a timeout.
Nate Fassnacht added a basket for the Cardinals, which would be the last DCC would score before halftime. Matheson would convert a 3-point play of his own for Ridgway to put the lead to 24-14 and add another timeout. Matheson finished with a game-high 18 points for the Elkers.
Lundin and Matheson added two more field goals and Matheson then added a layup on an alleyoop from Josh Mitchell to put the lead to 30-14. JoJo Jaques drained a 3-pointer with 87 seconds left as Ridgway took a 19-point lead into halftime at 33-14.
"We came out a touch flat," Ridgway coach Anthony Allegretto said. "We weren't getting real good rotations in the press. But in the halfcourt defense, we played pretty well. They were having difficulty getting to the basket and finishing. Even though we weren't playing great or finishing, we weren't giving up that many baskets. Once we found our feet, found the press that bothered them, we got a little more energy going, we got some steals which was that time we put that run on them."
While Ridgway had 21 points in the second quarter, the Elkers went and worked on the clock in the third quarter. Alex Oknefski converted the front end of a 3-point play, Ridgway's lone two points of the third quarter. DCC had only three points themselves in the third period. Allegretto said with three games this week, getting rest was important.
"Once we got the 20-point lead, then it's 'Let's take a little bit of time off the clock,'" Allegretto said. "We got to save some legs over there. We got a lot of people in the game. JoJo (Jaques) came in and played pretty well both in the first half and in the second half, he had a couple of threes."
Aaron Sorge opened the fourth quarter with a layup after a steal. Matheson added his last basket of the night with 4:40 left which put the lead at 39-17. DCC was able to cut the lead to 11 points but was not in serious contention to get back into the game as Ridgway was able to pick up the fairly comfortable win.
The Elkers opened up with a fast start, scoring the first six points. Matheson opened with a steal and a layup 1:20 into the game and Mitchell followed with a shot from the post for a 4-0 lead. Mitchell assisted Matheson on a layup for a 6-0 advantage with 5:12 left.
Danny O'Connor put DuBois Central Catholic on the board with a layup before Matheson ran by the DCC defense for a 3-point play. Consecutive baskets by O'Connor and Jeremy Johnson had the Ridgway margin down to three at 9-6. Lundin and Jake Heigel alternated baskets before a Sorge free throw with 28 seconds left had Ridgway up 12-8 at the end of the first quarter.
"Their defense, they packed it in, they sagged off their man so it ends up looking a lot like a zone," Allegretto said. "They're going to allow us to pass it on the outside. Instead of forcing penetration and forcing shots, we're going to take what you're going to give us."
In the second quarter, Reynolds and Heigel alternated baskets before a hoop from Michael Krajewski had the Cardinals within two at 14-12, setting up Ridgway's long run to close out the half.
"They were obviously prepared for our initial presses and they had been well-schooled in it," Allegretto said. "They made some passes and broke some guys open."
It was Ridgway's first game since last Tuesday when the Elkers won 73-36 at Sheffield. Ridgway was supposed to play Kane at home last Friday but the game was postponed to Wednesday, Feb. 8 because of last Friday's poor weather conditions.
"We've had a week off again. This is our third week off this season with a week off," Allegretto said. "It's hard to get any flow to our game. This will be the third time we've played back-to-back games plus the third time we've had a week off. I don't feel like we've put a whole game together yet. Every week from here on out, we have three games because of the cancellations."
Ridgway hosts Brookville tonight with junior varsity action to start at 6 p.m. and then also hosts Johnsonburg on Friday night.
In Tuesday's junior varsity game, Ridgway won by a score of 39-24.
NOTES: There was a brief power outage with 1:27 left in the second quarter. Power was restored in a few seconds..Tuesday night was Grandparents Night for Ridgway basketball as grandparents recognized.. There will be a tailgate party sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank before the Johnsonburg game Friday.