NORTH RIDGEVILLE — When one team is close to perfection, second best for the opponent just doesn’t cut it.
North Ridgeville had a traveling turnover on its first possession of the game but played flawless basketball through most of the opening half to secure a big lead en route to beating visiting Fairview, 69-53, Tuesday night.
When Jason Ice scored to put the Rangers (3-2, 2-0 West Shore Conference) ahead 6-4, they never trailed again. Playing near perfectly, North Ridgeville kept pouring it on to an
18-7 advantage after one quarter. The Rangers hit 6-of-18 from the field, had just one turnover and outrebounded the Warriors 16-10 in the opening period.
The winners kept scoring with ease in the second quarter as well, getting out to a 34-10 lead, before Fairview (5-2, 1-1) rallied with nine straight points to cut the deficit to 15 at halftime.
But North Ridgeville continued in the third quarter what it started in the first half, forging its biggest lead at 53-29.
To its credit, Fairview did not quit and staged a rally in the fourth quarter, getting as close as 63-50 after Marty Patton hit back-to-back 3-pointers with 2:50 left in the game. But it was too late.
The Rangers had only eight turnovers (five of them coming in the last quarter) and outshot the Warriors from the field 42 percent to 38 percent. The taller North Ridgeville team, led by 6-foot-11 Drew McGhee, had a wide 24-15 edge in rebounds during the first half, a key factor in the big lead. But Fairview recovered to eventually own a 38-37 edge on the boards, led by Jim Wise with 10. McGhee led both teams with 14 rebounds.
“We talked beforehand about coming out to start the game with energy and we did that,” North Ridgeville coach Bill Noggle said. “I’m real proud of our kids. I was especially happy that we had so few turnovers, which has been a problem for us this year.”
While admitting the first quarter was near perfect, Noggle would not call the overall game the best for the Rangers this year.
“In spurts it was our best play of the year, but in other spurts we didn’t do all that well,” he said. “We had some times of little effort on defense and some bad shots.”
Fairview coach Pete Maienknecht felt the last-quarter rally, when the Warriors outscored the Rangers 19-13, took some of the sting out of the defeat.
“What we can hang our hats on is there’s no surrender in this group of kids,” he said. “We battle to the end. Tonight we got within range toward the end and I’m so proud of our kids for that.
“You can’t come out and take punches without punching back. We did a poor job of defensive rebounding early in the game, playing on our heels and not handling the pressure defense. That’s a formula for disaster against a quality team like Ridgeville. They’re the defending West Shore champs and looked like champs tonight.”
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
North Ridgeville 69, Fairview 53
FAIRVIEW (53): Jim Wise 8-2-18, Marty Patton 4-0-12, Adam Johans 3-2-9, Taylor Melton 2-4-8, Nelon Santos 1-2-4, John Fritz 0-2-2, Adam Dickey 0-0-0, Brett Willgren 0-0-0, Manoud Najjar 0-0-0, Joe Mills 0-0-0, Sean Faska 0-0-0. Totals 18-12-53.
NORTH RIDGEVILLE (69): Keene Cockburn 7-4-19, Drew Meghee 5-6-16, Dan Montgomery 4-5-15, Jason Ice 2-2-6, Nick Rodgerson 2-2—6,Ryan McNamara 1-2-5, Jake Rigsby 1-0-2, Mark Szylakowski 0-0-0, Zach Wade 0-0-0, Madison Hamilton 0-0-0, Dom Qualls 0-0-0, Robert Micchael 0-0-0. Totals 22-21-69.
Fairview 7 12 15 19 — 53
N. Ridgeville 18 16 22 13 — 69
Three-point goals: Fairview 5 of 6 (Patton 4, Johans), NR 4 of 7 (Cockbun, McNamara, Montgomery 2); Field goals: Fairview 18 of 47 (38 percent), NR 22 of 53 (41 percent); Free throws: Fairview 12 of 19, NR 21 of 29; Rebounds: Fairvirew 38 (Wise 10, Fritz 7, Melton 6), NR 37 (Meghee 14, Ice 5; Turnovers: Fairview 15, NR 8; Fouls: Fairview 20, NF 13.
Junior varsity: North Ridgeville 46, Fairview 32