RIDGEFIELD — The Ridgefield boys basketball team has a new weapon to help the Spudders’ postseason push in the 2A Greater St. Helens League.
“Our JV coach pointed out the fact that we are giving up an average of one basket per game in the third quarter the last two games,” Ridgefield coach Jason Buffum said.
On Monday, that third-quarter defense helped get back Ridgefield into a game against Columbia River that the Spudders would eventually lose.
On Wednesday, it helped Ridgefield build a lead that would carry the Spudders to a key 46-38 win over Woodland.
“A huge win for us,” Buffum said. “Our focus tonight was like ‘Look. These guys are ahead of us in the standings. They’ve got some good players. We have to play better.’ ”
The Spudders did that, especially on defense when Woodland’s two-point third quarter allowed Ridgefield to turn a 23-22 halftime deficit into a 34-25 lead. Carter Thompson hit three 3-pointers in the quarter, including one right before the end of the period.
“I found it in the first half and rode with it,” Thompson said. “My teammates found me. I was moving to the right spots. It’s just when you’re hot, you’re hot.”
And Thompson hasn’t always been hot.
“He’s been a little bit shaky lately, and he comes out and makes the big baskets in the big moments,” Buffum said. “(Cole) Chester and Sid Bryant defensively held their dudes in check.”
Thompson said: “Defensively, we just make it our goal to get a stop every time down and play to the best of our ability. We need that because we don’t have the offensive firepower all the time.”
Ridgefield pushed its lead to 12 at 41-29 before Woodland hit three 3-pointers down the stretch to get within five.
But Colten Castro’s 3-pointer with 48 seconds left helped seal it.
Thompson hit 5 3-pointers in to total and led the Spudders with 17 points. Bryant added nine points, Chester had eight and Castro finished with seven.
“Everybody contributed who played, Buffum said. “It was a great team effort.”
Drew Burns led Woodland with 11, and Beau Swett and Dane Huddleston added eight each.
Coming off the loss to River on Monday, Wednesday’s win helped Ridgefield (6-6, 5-3 2A GSHL) tied Woodland (8-5, 5-3) for third-place to cap the first half of the league schedule.
Thompson hopes Wednesday’s effort will propel the Spudders in the second half of league play.
“We need wins,” Thompson said. “We need to play well, compete for four quarters and get wins.”
RIDGEFIELD 46, WOODLAND 38
WOODLAND — Beau Swett 8, Justin Philpot 3, Dane Huddleston 8, Gus Heidgerken 0, Lucas Logan 8, Drew Burns 11. Totals 15 (7) 1-1 38.
RIDGEFIELD — Sid Bryant 9, Colton Warren 0, Cole Chester 8, Landon Kelsey 3, Colten Castro 7, Carter Thompson 17, Jalen Dunn 2, Damion Jiles 0. Totals 17 (9) 3-6 46.
Woodland 15 8 2 13—38
Ridgefield 13 9 12 12—46