Cody Andersen of Ridgway Christian goes around Quincy Miller of St. Joseph to the basket during Friday’s game at St. Joseph. (Special to The Commercial/Mike Adam)
The effects of Ridgway Christian’s overtime loss to Columbia Christian the night before carried over into the first half of Friday’s game at St. Joseph.
Ridgway started off slowly against the Huskies, but a strong defensive effort held St. Joseph to one field goal each in the second and third quarter and catapulted the Eagles to a 49-27 victory.
Columbia Christian edged Ridgway 76-75 on Thursday to earn the top seed in the Arkansas Association of Christian Schools’ South Region. And Ridgway coach Trent Young could see it was going to take time for the Eagles to get their legs underneath them again.
“They laid it all on the line last night and I knew they were tired,” Young said. “I said that’s what it’s going to take to beat a ballclub like Columbia. They did and I was proud of them for that.”
Ridgway (16-6, 10-2 in AACS South) overcame a 13-10 deficit through one quarter to carry a 19-16 lead into halftime, then outscored St. Joseph 16-2 in the third. The Eagles broke the game wide open with points in transition, and the Huskies could not recover.
“I challenged them at halftime,” Young said. “I said this isn’t the same ballclub that played (Thursday) night against Columbia at all. When you go through the motions against a team that has a little talent, if you keep playing like you’re playing, they’re going to hang around and think they can beat you. You’re going to find yourself in a ballgame.”
For St. Joseph, it was a common case of struggling in the third quarter after competing closely in the first 16 minutes.
“I used to go to the Nuggets’ camp when I was in Colorado, and (coach Dan Issel) said the game is won or lost in the third quarter,” St. Joseph coach Mathew Foss said. “We had the third quarter blues, which is, our legs get tired. With having primarily only five guys — our sixth man has already played a full game, when you fatigue you make bad passes, and when you make bad passes the other team scores.”
In the AACS, many if not all junior high players also suit up for high school games.
Larry Tate scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Eagles. Cody Andersen added 10 points and four rebounds.
Christopher Taylor scored nine points and Stephen Reed added eight for the Huskies.
JUNIOR HIGH BOYS
Ridgway Christian 47, St. Joseph 24
Also at St. Joseph, Ezra Tole and Andersen finished with 10 points each in leading the Eagles (13-2, 5-1 AACS South) to a decisive win over the Huskies in their region finale.
Ridgway led 28-9 at halftime.