BROOKSVILLE — The last time Ridgewood and Central faced off in a Class 5A, District 7 showdown it took two overtimes to decide the winner. This time the result was far more lopsided, and it was the host Bears who dominated in a 55-41 victory Friday.
Central (9-7) had a large lead in the first half of the first game this season, a close win for the Bears on the road. However, Ridgewood's full-court press caused Central all sorts of fits.
"We were up big at their place before we fell apart because of their press," Central coach Penny Gressick said. "It was only a matter of time before they pulled it out again."
After going ahead by nine in the first half, the Bears were prepared this time. The connection of point guard McKenzie Burns to forward Amanda Morris burned the Rams every time they tried to employ the press. Burns finished with 11 assists and Morris with a game-high 23 points.
Ridgewood (10-8) did not have a scorer in double figures after the backcourt tandem of twins Aleesa and Daylyn Williamson was shut down. The two average a combined 25 points but were held to only 15. Daylyn fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
Power forward Tikiera Relaford came up big for the Bears in the first half. Her work in the paint helped Central to a 30-14 halftime edge on the boards. She finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds.