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Ayers sets two Ridgewood marks in rout

Ridgewood senior point guard Crystal Ayers didn't just set a school career scoring record Friday night.

She shattered it.

Needing just 11 points to tie the mark entering Friday night's Class 4A, District 10 game at Tarpon Springs, Ayers dropped a school-record 43 on the Spongers, leading the Rams to a 75-15 rout.

Ridgewood's new scoring record stands at 1,455 points _ and the season isn't even over yet for the 19-1 Rams and their star guard.

Ayers, the two-time Sunshine Athletic Conference player of the year, is averaging 16 points a game this season. The point guard has been sacrificing her scoring so she can keep her teammates involved in the offense.

But before Friday's game, coach Greg Bollinger gave her the green light to shoot whenever and wherever she could to get the record.

"Coach wanted me to break it," Ayers said. "He told me ahead of time, if I was hitting it, if I was in the zone, he was going to keep letting me shoot it. Thanks to my teammates for giving me the ball."

The record was 1,423, set by Alayna Sherwood in 2001. The school single-game record was 40 points, and was more than a decade old.

Ayers was 20-of-25 from the field and hit a personal-record four 3-pointers. Most of her points came off the transition game, but when she had open shots, she drained those too.

"I'm very proud of her," said her father, Goldie Ayers. "She was in the zone. We are all proud of her."

Ayers, who has committed to San Jose State, dedicated her career night to her 82-year-old grandfather, Carl Morgan, who suffered a stroke last week.

"He supports me so much," she said. "He's like my biggest fan."

_ JAMAL THALJI

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