BASKING RIDGE, NJ - The Ridge girls basketball team, which trailed by 13 points in the third quarter, scored the last nine points of the game to rally for a 42-39 victory over Bernards on Saturday.
Sophie Beneventine scored four points in the final minutes, when Ridge (10-14) erased a 39-33 deficit with a 9-0 run.
Senior guard Caroline Baratta of Bernards (12-10) led all scorers with 23 points. Baratta scored 18 points in the first half, then five more when the Mountaineers opened the third quarter with eight straight points to build a 33-20 lead.
With the score 35-22, Ridge embarked on its comeback in earnest. Sam Weyrauch scored on a putback, then Katie Grierson sank two of four free throws as the Red Devils closed to within 35-26 heading into the fourth quarter. The score was 39-33 midway through the final period when Ridge applied the defensive clamps, which included a much better job of getting back in its transition defense to halt Bernards' fastbreaks, which had helped the Mountaineers build their lead earlier in the game.
Anabelle Pesarchick sank a layup, then hit one of two foul shots to bring Ridge within 39-36. Beneventine's baseline jumper to finish the break enabled Ridge to move within a point, 39-38. Then, with 2:00 to go, Weyrauch fed Kristin Miscia with a bounce pass that Miscia converted into a layup that gave Ridge its first lead of the entire game, 40-39.
Beneventine sank a short jumper from the wing with 54 seconds left for the game's final points. Baratta missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds that could have tied the game.