High school basketball: Northridge rallies to edge Riley
Posted on December 7, 2013
SOUTH BEND — Once the fuse was lit, it didn’t take long for Northridge to explode.
Down six at halftime, Raider coach Ronnie Thomas used the break for a little attitude adjustment.
“Our sense of urgency was so different in the second half,” Thomas said. “We were playing so much harder.”
That new approach to the high school basketball game translated into a quick 12-0 run early in the third quarter. Northridge (3-0) went on to a 71-69 over Riley (2-1) Friday night.
Nate Ritchie, the Raiders’ athletic 6-foot-7, 190-pound multi-threat, scored 10 of those 12 quick points after intermission, and finished with 31 points and seven rebounds.
“No one was happy about the first half,” said Ritchie, a senior who is being courted by several Division I teams. He said the University of Toledo is the early leader.
“We had to come out playing hard,” Ritchie said. “We took the lead right there.”
It was an uphill battle for Riley the rest of the way. But it was a fight the Wildcats were prepared to take on.
“We did a lot of positive things,” said Riley coach Mark Johnson. “Then we were out of position a couple times at the end. We had made some stops when we needed them. All we had to do was make fundamental plays, not great plays.”
Those fundamental plays were lacking at crunch time.
Riley was outscored 22-12 in the third quarter. Ja’mare Washington, all 6-4 and 250 pounds of him, was unstoppable underneath (12 points) in the first half. He managed only one shot in the third quarter.
“I like the way (Washington) plays,” said Thomas. “He knows what he does well (dominating around the basket), and that’s what he does.
“(In the second half) we did an OK job, at best, with our help-side defense to try to control him.”
Washington finished with 23 points and seven rebounds. Reontre’ Lawrence had 20 points and MiQuan Patton scored 13 off the bench.
“I thought I was big at 190 (pounds),” said Ritchie. “I couldn’t shy away from any of those guys (Joshua Hodge is 6-3, 230). If I can penetrate inside, that opens someone up outside.”