LAND O'LAKES — In the Dec. 4 meeting between Ridgewood and Mitchell, the Rams defeated the Mustangs 80-70 at Anders Court.
It was the same end result Thursday night. But the margin of victory was quite different, as Ridgewood flexed its offensive muscle and cruised to an 85-47 semifinal win at the Sunlake New Year's Invitational.
"The kids did a great job of running the offense and not worrying about what they did on defense," Ridgewood coach Gary Anders said. "I thought everything started on the defensive end tonight.
"We asserted ourselves tonight, but we play them again next Friday and it all starts off at 0-0."
The Rams (12-3) dominated a Mustangs squad that scored 86 points the previous night. And a big reason was Ridgewood's dominance in the paint, as the Rams outrebounded Mitchell 33-17 and blocked five shots.
Ridgewood guard Charles Jones has his stroke going, as the 6-foot-3 senior hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the last one coming from 5 feet beyond the arc. The Rams had three players score more than 15 including Jones, who finished with 23, Jacob Rauh with 17 and Michael Wood with 19. Chad Jeckel led Mitchell (6-5) with 10.
Ridgewood will face Bradenton's IMG Academy, a 54-36 winner over Sunlake, in the tournament final. In other games, Wesley Chapel defeated Gulf 55-46 and Zephyrhills defeated Springstead 54-29.