RIDGEFIELD – Both teams were itching for a 2A Greater St. Helens League win. Both teams were missing a key player.
But one team found a spark late.
The Ridgefield boys basketball team outscored Fort Vancouver 20-8 over the last six minutes, helping the Spudders pick up their first league win Tuesday with a 52-46 victory over the Trappers.
“We just wanted to play more as a team, talk more on defense and move the ball around,” said junior Henry Hughes, who led the Spudders with 18 points. “We have a lot of new guys (on the team), so we just need to put it together as a team.”
One experienced Spudder out of the lineup was 6-foot-4 junior Carson Knight. Coach Jason Buffum hopes to have Knight back later this week.
But the Trappers were also out a big part of their team. Khalil Singleton has been out since the Trappers’ first game with hairline fracture in a non-weight bearing bone in his ankle.
“He wanted to come back tonight,” Fort coach James Ensley said. “He’s going to get it checked out again. There’s a chance he might be back by next week.”
In his place, senior Tre Cannon tried to fill the void, leading the Trappers with 26 points, including an eye-opening dunk by the 5-foot-10 guard in the first half.
Cannon had Fort’s first nine points of the second half as the Trappers opened a 38-32 lead early in the fourth quarter.
But that’s when the switch flipped for the Spudders. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Hughes put Ridgefield up 40-38.
“I just tried to move around,” Hughes said. “And I like it when the guys hit me when I’m open. I like to shoot.”
It was a lead the Spudders would not relinquish even as the two teams traded baskets late, getting the Trappers within two points on three different occasions in the final three minutes. The last time came on a Cannon 3-pointer with 1:05 left, cutting Ridgefield’s edge to 48-46.
But a Ty Snider layup and a drive by Hughes sealed the win for the Spudders. Snider finished with 12 points.
“We had more energy,” Hughes said of the Spudders’ fourth-quarter effort. “You could probably hear it in here. We had more energy, and that’s what we’ve been looking for all season.”
It’s a quick turnaround for the Spudders (1-2 in the 2A GSHL) with a game Wednesday at Hudson’s Bay before hosting Woodland on Friday.
“We’ve got to keep it going tomorrow against Bay,” Hughes said. “It will be a big week if we can go 3-0. I think we have good chance of doing that.”
RIDGEFIELD 52, FORT VANCOUVER 46
FORT VANCOUVER – Kaeleb Cvitkovich 2, Keyontae Cage 5, Sam Crawford 2, Tre Cannon 26, Gabe Daigle 4, Dean Cardena 7, Carlos Gomez 0. Totals 18 (3) 7-9 46.
RIDGEFIELD – Juelz Mendoza 4, Zachary Warren 8, Cruz Combs 6, Ty Snider 12, Easton Ortega 9, Henry Hughes 19, Nathan Semlick 3, Sidhartha Bryant 0. Totals 21 (8) 2-4 52.
Fort 9 9 16 12—46
Ridgefield 13 9 7 23–52