BROCKWAY — Ridgway overcame a slow start on both ends of the court, using a huge third quarter to surge past Brockway to a 56-43 victory on the road Tuesday.
In the opening quarter, the Elkers were unable to get their offense into a groove, while on the defensive end they were unable to prevent the Rovers from getting open looks.
Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net in the early going, as the first points didn’t come until the 4:40 mark of the first quarter when Alec Freemer scored inside for Brockway.
Jon Wood then capitalized on open looks on back-to-back possessions, knocking down a pair of three-pointers to give the Rovers a 8-0 lead with 3:16 remaining in the first.
Ridgway finally got on the board at the 3:02 mark of the opening frame, as Jake Reynolds went 1 of 2 from the free throw line.
The Elkers closed out the quarter on a 4-0 run on baskets from Will Thompson and Parker Rohr to cut Brockway’s lead to 10-5 after one quarter of play.
After a sluggish first quarter, in which the two sides combined to score 15 points, both offenses got hot in the second quarter, as each side scored more than 15 points on their own.
In the end, the Elkers had cut into Brockway’s lead by just one point after holding a 17-16 edge in the quarter and the Rovers took a 26-22 lead into the half.
Each team hit a pair of three-pointers in the second, as Matthew Clark and Wood hit shots from deep for Brockway, while Reynolds and Zack Zameroski hit threes for Ridgway.
“It wasn’t a whole lot of strategy, it was just you need to play harder and play smarter,” Ridgway head coach Tony Allegretto said of his message to his team at the half.
The head coach noted that his team was not ready to play in the early going against a well-coached, talented squad in Brockway and they left Wood open a handful of times in the first half, something they knew coming in they could not do.
In the third quarter, the Elkers’ stayed hot on the offensive end of the court, but they were able to take control of the game by shutting down Brockway on the other end of the court.
Ridgway held the Rovers to just 4 points in the frame and only one made basket, which came from Alec Freemer along with two free throws from Zane Puhala.
Puhala and Wood finished the game with 15 points apiece to lead the Rovers on the night.
The Elkers opened the third on a 9-0 run, as back-to-back baskets from Thompson tied the game at 26 at the 6:01 mark.
A three-pointer from Daunte Allegretto gave Ridgway their first lead of the night, as it led the remaining of the night on the way to the victory.
“We started out with three or four turnovers in our first six possessions and that kinda turned the momentum of the game,” Brockway head coach Rick Clark said.
By the end of the third the Elkers had surged out in front to a 39-30 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
In the fourth, Ridgway was able to maintain their lead behind a strong performance from the free throw line.
As a team, the Elkers went 9 of 11 from the line in the fourth quarter as they closed out the game with a 56-43 win.
Ridgway finished the game 21 of 26 from the line as a team, while on the other side, Brockway only went to the line five times, as all five attempts were converted by Puhala.
“At the end of the game, if we get a lead like that and go into our patient offense, we’re hoping that they foul our foul shooters,” Allegretto said.
Just like he did in the third quarter, Thompson sparked Ridgway offensively in the early going of the fourth quarter.
Thompson scored the team’s first seven points of the final quarter, including an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Elkers their first double-digit lead of the night at 44-32 with 6:42 remaining in the game.
Thompson finished the night with a double-double, recording game-highs with 21 points and 11 rebounds in the win.
The senior finished with 10 made baskets on the night, as 13 of his points came in the second half when he worked his way even closer to the basket.
“Second half he had much more patience,” Allegretto said. “We were able to get it to him much more often.”
Reynolds added 10 points and seven rebounds for Ridgway, while Zameroski chipped in nine points and Allegretto finished with eight.
“I was extremely proud of the effort our guys gave,” Clark said. “I think our guys played extremely hard and just a few lapses here and there in the second half was really the difference in the game.”
Both teams return to action Friday, as Brockway travels to Cameron County and Ridgway hits the road to face Johnsonburg.