WILLMAR — Ridgewater's men's basketball team overcame a second half shooting slump Thursday night to defeat Gustavus Adolphus' junior varsity team 74-66 to win for a third time in three tries this season.
The Warriors came out strong in the first half, shooting the lights out at 11-of-17 from behind the arc. Jack Turnbull was especially hot and finished five-of-eight from the 3-point line.
But the Warriors lost a 15-point halftime lead before salvaging the victory in the final five minutes.
"We have a lot of energy defensively and that was clear right from the beginning," said Ridgewater head coach Darren Tighe. "We were doing the right things and getting to the right spot offensively, too, so we had a strong first half."
The hot shooting gave the Warriors an impressive 46-31 lead after the first half but the second half looked very different for the home team.
The Gusties and Warriors traded blows for the first few minutes but Gustavus put on a lengthy 24-4 run midway through the half and at one point kept Ridgewater off the board for more than five minutes.
"Our spacing was atrocious in the second half," Tighe said. "We forced the ball too much and didn't let it come to us."
The Warriors went cold in the second half, shooting 2-of-10 from the 3-point line and 9-of-24 overall. The poor shooting allowed Gustavus back in the game and the Gusties took a 60-59 lead on a big 3-pointer with only 5:26 left to play. That marked the first time the Warriors trailed this season.
It took a couple of late timeouts but Tighe was able to get his team to turn things around.
"I just told them that I trust them, don't force it," Tighe said. "We have a lot of weapons so I just told them to let it come. It took a big punch to the head for us to figure out what to do but we executed better down the stretch."
Turnbull hit a 3-pointer to tie it up at 63 and the Warriors were able to take it from there to win the game.
Tighe said it was a sloppy win but he's glad it happened when it did.
"It's much easier to sleep after a sloppy win than a tough loss," Tighe said. "It's good to have those situations early on so we figure out what to do. We schedule these JV teams because they make you play hard early on so when we play some tough division opponents later on we're ready."
The Warriors will play at 2 p.m. on Saturday against Bethany Lutheran's JV team at home.
Ridgewater 74, Gustavus JV 66
Gustavus JV................. 31 35 — 66
Ridgewater (3-0)................. 46 28 — 74
Gustavus Adolphus JV
Scoring: Ethan Forney 22, Eli Dotson 8, Noah Jiskra 7, Bobby Brooks 5, Gunnar Ledin 11, Leif Egen 11, Chase Olson 2 ... 3-point shots: Forney 5, Jiskra 2, Brooks 1, Ledin 3 ... Rebound leader: Alex Perez 1, Forney 4, Keegan Oak 3, Dotson 3, Brooks 6, Ledin 2, Engen 5, Conrad Oddoye 2, Olson 2 ... Assist leader: Perez 2, Forney 2, Oak 2, Dotson 1, Brooks 1 ... Steal leader: Perez 1, Forney 3, Dotson 1, Ledin 2
Scoring: Marvin Perkins 12, Taylor Delaughter 3, Matt Ringkob 9, Devin Fostervold 4, Ville-Markus Milan 3, Caleb C'Bearing 4, Jack Turnbull 17, Akeem Oglesby 22 ... 3-point shots: Perkins 4, Ringkob 1, Markus Milan 1, Turnbull 5, Oglesby 2 ... Rebound leader: Perkins 3, DeLaughter 7, Ringkob 2, Markus Milan 3, Jesse Vogel 1, C'Bearing 2, Turnbull 3, Ogelsby 4 ... Assist leader: Perkins 1, DeLaughter 1, C'Bearing 2, Turnbull 5, Oglesby 6 ... Steal leader: Perkins 1, DeLaughter 3, Fostervold 1, Turnbull 1, Oglesby 1