HOLIDAY — In a rematch of last year's narrow district semifinal victory, Ridgewood blitzed Anclote with a 27-point third quarter to topple the Sharks 83-62 on Thursday night.
Ridgewood (2-0) followed up its season-opening victory against Zephyrhills, the team that beat the Rams in last year's 6A-8 district final. Senior guard Ty Quiroz led the way with 23 points, and Mitchell transfer Alec Sherman added 18 despite missing much of the second half with a knee injury.
Sherman, who scored a pair of baskets after a 10-minute absence, had ice on his knee as the game wrapped up, but said he'd be fine moving forward.
The Rams moved quickly out of a 34-33 halftime lead, with Sherman and junior Josh Vail scoring two baskets each in a 13-5 run to start the half. A Quiroz 3-pointer gave Ridgewood its first double-digit edge at 50-40, and out of a timeout Quiroz and Jacob Powell scored quickly to make it 56-43.
When the host Sharks (1-1) pulled to within eight late in the third quarter and had the ball, Aaron McCarthy ended the quarter with a steal and a layup at the horn for 61-51.
Anclote missed its first six shots of the fourth as Ridgewood was going an impressive 56 percent from the floor (19-of-34) in the second half. Hopes for a Sharks' comeback were hindered by a 4-for-13 performance from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
Ridgewood only turned the ball over seven times all night, none in the first 12:30 of the second half.
The Sharks jumped up 8-2 on a pair of 3s by Jalen Cooper, all of whose 15 points came from distance. Ridgewood answered to go up 13-10, and neither side led by more than four in the first half.
Talented 6-foor-6 sophomore Jakob Hester led Anclote with 22 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. Reynaldo Gonzalez and Jaelin Reeves scored eight apiece while Reeves pulled down nine rebounds. Cooper and Jacobie Forrest had four assists each.
Vail (15 points, eight rebounds) and McCarthy (12 points) also hit double digits in scoring for Ridgewood, and Treyvon Reiser dished out six assists.