BERNARDSVILLE, NJ - Caught up in what looked like it might be another one-possession game for the second consecutive outing, the Ridge girls basketball team scored 10 straight points early in the fourth quarter to pull away en route to a 46-37 victory over Hanover Park on Saturday at Bernards High School.
Senior forward Sam Weyrauch scored half of her team-high 16 points in the final quarter for Ridge (7-6), which went on a 10-0 run to take a 38-27 lead midway through the period.
That stood in contrast to the Red Devils' 45-43 loss to Immaculata two nights before--a game that could have been a demoralizing catalyst in a three-games-in-five days stretch, but which proved instead to be a spark of sorts.
"The girls had a great practice after that, and we knew we could have been better than we played," Ridge head coach Eric Schroeder said. "Hanover Park is a good team, and we had girls step up and make plays when they needed to."
Weyrauch had gone for a season-high 19 points in the loss to Immaculata, and she followed that up with a game in which she not only provided critical scoring down the stretch, but several important rebounds and a number of effective entry passes, some of which led to shooting fouls in Ridge's favor.
"Sammy has really stepped up her game," Schroeder said. "She leads us in rebounding this year (7.5 per game) and overall, she is playing great." Weyrauch was six-for-six from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
With Ridge clinging to a 28-27 lead early in the fourth quarter, Sophie Beneventine sank a pair of foul shots with 6:20 left to ignite the Red Devils' 10-0 spurt. Weyrauch hit two foul shots with 5:53 left, Lauren Lusardi converted Beneventine's driving dish into a layup, Maddy West fed Weyrauch for a basket underneath and then West put back an offensive rebound to give Ridge an 11-point lead.
"We hit our shots down the stretch and we turned some steals into points at the other end," Schroeder said.
Beneventine and West each finished with seven points and Juliana Spitzner had six points in the victory, which came against a Hanover Park team (9-3) that brought a seven-game winning streak into the contest.