NEW PORT RICHEY — Ridgewood was 3-for-16 from the floor in the third quarter, Charles Jones was called for an odd technical foul and Jacob Rauh racked up three fouls in the first 12 minutes of play. But none of that seemed to matter Thursday as the Rams dismantled Lecanto from start to finish in a 60-41 victory in a 4A region quarterfinal.
"We didn't score real well in the third quarter," Ridgewood coach Gary Anders said. "We didn't take great shots and they made a run, but down the stretch we defended better and we made the shots we needed to make."
Rauh posted 17 total points, including three 3-pointers in the second quarter.
"He was hot tonight," Anders said of Rauh. "The one basket that stands out in my mind was when I took a chance when he had three fouls in the second quarter. But I put him back in on offense because I just had a feeling he might get an open look, and he hit that big one on our end."
Jones earned his 20 points mostly from the line, where he shot 11-of-13. The Rams as a team shot 19-of-23. Jones went 9-for-10 from the line in the final quarter.
"I made up for it at the free-throw line," Jones said of his performance.
Jones was called for a strange technical foul in the final two minutes. Head referee TC Carter escorted Jones to his bench and told the player to remove his jersey because it had blood on it. Jones, who was wearing an undershirt, switched his jersey from No. 5 to No. 25.
Carter was then informed of the switch by the time keeper, saying, "that is okay with me." Once Jones stepped on the floor, however, he was called for a technical.
"Because — the way it was explained to me — he took his jersey off in the confines of the building," Anders said. "He had blood on his jersey so we were going to do a switch, which is perfectly legal, but I didn't understand he had to do it behind closed doors."