River Ridge 83, Clover Park 44
(Lacey, WA) River Ridge Head Coach John Barbee wasn’t excited about having to play an extra game to determine seeding into the league tournament but with huge implications going into districts this was must as the Hawks and Clover Park Warriors split the regular season and finished tied for 2nd at 10-4 a game behind Renton. Ironically, the Hawks had swept Renton in the regular season and had they been able to pick up one more win they would have been SPSL 2A Sound Division Champions and hold a #1 seed in the crossovers. Instead they had a must win game on Monday night or face a rough route to Districts and to State.
Clover Park was hoping to ride the momentum they picked up finished with 5 straight wins including the 67-64 victory over River Ridge to force the 2nd place tie.Coach Mel Ninnis expected his squad to battle hard and take their best shot at the Hawks.
As the 1st quarter unfolded it appeared the Warriors were ready to battle the Hawks as the 2 teams battled in a low scoring affair. With just 2:25 left to play in the 1st the game was tied at 6-6 with both defenses locking down. Ridge’s Kolton Knox drew the duty of guarding CP’s Davien Harris-Williams who was averaging nearly 22 points a game. Knox and company held Harris-Williams to 2 points in the 1st quarter. Ridge hit a pair of 3’s to start the game then went cold until the final 2-plus minutes when they began to work the ball inside and Kelle Sanders emerged for a beastly game leading the Hawks run. They would finish on an 8-0 run to take a 14-6 lead.
In the 2nd quarter the Warriors would find their offense but the problem was so did the Hawks. CP knocked down 19 led by Harris-Williams 7 2nd quarter points. But the Hawks took flight with a well spread out offensive attack led by Sanders’ 11. Jordan Skipper-Brown had 8 and DeNero Washington was his usual spark plug off the bench with 7. RR finished the 2nd quarter with 25 to take a 39-25 lead.
If there were any hopes for the Warriors to get back in this game in the 3rd those thoughts were quickly doused with more smothering defense from Knox and the bigs inside. Knox held Harris-Williams to just 2 2nd half points for 11 total for the game. Meantime, Alex Coleman unleashed a flurry of 3’s hitting 3 straight from behind the arc to kick-off the Hawks 2nd half offense extending their lead to 50-30 less than 2 minutes into the 3rd. This run of 3-balls earned our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game for quickly closing the door on any thought of making a 2nd half run.
The Hawks would stretch their lead to as many as 40 with a minute left to play kicking in the running clock. Coach Ninnis had long pulled his starters and emptied his bench. Trevyon McDaniel led CP playing hard to final buzzer. The Hawks offense has really kicked it into high gear the past 3 games scoring a total of 274 points, averaging 91 points a game. RR will now travel to Foss on Wednesday in the 1st crossover game while Clover Park will host Fife.
Our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Group Players of the Game went to RR’s Kelle Sanders and CP’s Trevyon McDaniel.
River Ridge: Kelle Sanders 19, Alex Coleman 15, Jordan Skipper-Brown 13, DeNero Washington 13, Josh Kennedy 11, Kolton Knox 5, Ryley Larson 4, Marquan Cannon 2, Alex Arana 1
Clover Park: Davien Harris-Williams 11, Trejaan Harris 6, Trevyon McDaniel 6, Jonjon Sealey 6, Ahmad Pierce 5, DJ Kerson 3, Deven Thompson 3, Deontae Jackson 2, James Anderson 2