LAND O’LAKES — Bouncing back is something Ridgewood coach Mike Bua emphasized to his team after losing to county foe Hudson on Tuesday.
It seemed like his team got the message as the Rams held Sunlake to 14 first-half points Thursday in a 68-51 rout.
“We played probably the best first three quarters we have all season,” Bua said. “We kind of lost our focus in the fourth quarter. We’re trying to take everything one game at a time. We talked about moving on at practice after the Hudson loss and the kids responded.”
In the first half, Ridgewood (4-2) held Sunlake to an abysmal 5-of-32 shooting from the field and outrebounded the Seahawks 23-10.
The Rams took advantage of Sunlake’s shooting woes and took a 32-14 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Rams steadily increased their lead to 45-20 with 2:41 before the fourth after guard Brandon Harrison (eight points, two assists) sent an alley-oop pass to a streaking Scott Kujak (nine points). The play demonstrated how dominant Ridgewood was in the first three quarters.
Sunlake (3-4) came alive in the final quarter, outscoring Ridgewood 22-15 and cutting the lead to 59-48 after an Andrew Banks (16 points) layup. But it was the story of too little, too late, as Ridgewood received a couple key baskets from forward Mike Wood (21 points) to help put away Sunlake.
“We have been out of synch the last couple games and got guys showing up late, seeming like the guys don’t care the last week and a half,” Sunlake coach Mark Hall said. “I think in the second half they finally woke up.”