In a 19-point win that lacked the refined teamwork of last Saturday's Somerset County tournament win, the Ridge High School Red Devils won their N2G4 first-round states basketball game Monday night against Scotch Plains-Fanwood.
Ridge faced a strong inside defense in their visiting opponent and had some trouble getting started from the field. "This time of year, a win is a win, you win and you advance," said Ridge head coach Brian Feath. "Obviously, we had a bit of a letdown from Saturday. It is something we talked about, but we didn't respond very well. We'll take the win and move on."
(North 2 Group 4)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL Scotch Plains-Plainfield (10-14) 7 9 12 11 39 Ridge (25-1) 10 13 18 17 58
Ridge scoring came from eight players led by senior guard Eric Klacik with 15 points, including a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe. Hugh Morris — MVP in the Somerset County Tournament — added 11 points and Matt Gerrity posted 8 points for Ridge. The team notched its season record up to 25-1.
"Coming off of Saturday we were expecting we'd be fired up but that didn't happen," said Klacik. "It was a wake up call for us. We'll get them on Wednesday," he said of the upcoming quarterfinals North 2, Group 4 championship playoffs.
Ridge will face North Hunterdon for the third time this season at home at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the next round of the N2G4 playoffs. If Ridge wins, the Red Devils will move onto the semifinals, scheduled for Friday night.