Goshen News, Goshen, IN


December 5, 2012


Second-half surge helps Northridge pull away

MIDDLEBURY — A 9-0 scoring run late in the second period gave the Northridge Raiders the lead for good in a 57-43 high school boys basketball win Tuesday evening over the visiting Jimtown Jimmies.

Jimtown went up 25-24 when 6-4 senior Michael Hobbs canned a pair of free throws with 2:30 left before halftime. Six-seven junior Nate Ritchie started the Raider scoring run with a basket at 2:08 and two tosses from the charity stripe at 1:22. Six-one senior Joey Ganyard had a basket at 1:07 and 6-1 senior Austin Moniot drained a 3-pointer just before time expired to put Northridge up 33-25.

“Jimtown is a better team than some people think,” Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas said. “Coach Ron Dietz (first-year Jimtown coach) has coached for a number of years. Jimtown had some kids make plays. We finally got some stops on defense.”

The Raiders led 15-14 at the end of the first quarter and stretched the lead out in the second by going 13-of-16 from the free-throw line. Ritchie was 9-of-10 from the stripe in the second and 12-of-16 in the contest.

“Our kids did a nice job of competing and executing the offense early on,” Dietz said. “We ran into trouble by putting the big kid (Ritchie) at the line too many times in the second.”

Ritchie finished with a game-high 25 points. He started out by going 1-of-3 from the charity stripe before swishing nine in a row to closeout the first half.

“He missed a couple of free throws early on, but we knew if he kept getting to the line he would start hitting them,” Thomas said. “What he needs to do is hit the early ones as well.”

Ritchie was knocked to the floor several times, including once on an intentional foul, during the game.

“Nate has to learn there are times to go for the layup,” Thomas added. “He has to know there are times the hits are going to come, because teams are keying on him.”

 Northridge broke the game open in the third by outscoring the Jimmies 19-11 for a 52-36 lead heading into the fourth.

The Raiders limited the Jimmies to 18 points in the second half.

“We didn’t have the intensity on defense in the first half we should have,” Thomas said. “I challenged the kids at halftime. Shannon Baker (6-3 senior) came off the bench and gave us great effort on defense in the second half and Ganyard was his usual solid self.”

Ganyard and Moniot sparked the Raider defense with three steals apiece.

Jimtown is still playing without 5-11 senior starting point guard Alec Brown, who is out of action with a high ankle sprain.

“He is still over a week away,” Dietz said.

Six-two junior Chase Hoeflinger is running the Jimtown offense until Brown returns. Hoeflinger also netted a team-high 15 points.

“Chase is doing a very good job of running the offense,” Dietz said. “He is a two guard and it’s hard to make the move over to the point.”

Hobbs tossed in 12 points for the Jimmies.

Other scoring leaders for Northridge were 5-8 sophomore Pete Smith with nine points, Ganyard and Moniot with six apiece.

One of the biggest ovations from the Northridge crowd came when 6-0 senior reserve Michael Presnell drilled a trey with 4:47 left in the game. The basket was the first points of his varsity career.

“Michael is a kid that has earned his varsity jersey,” Thomas said. “He works really hard in practice and we are going to need players like him and some of the other reserves to give us some help off the bench at some point of the season.”

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