BASKING RIDGE, NJ - A full week in between games left the Ridge girls basketball team rested and prepared for Saturday's county tournament game.
And the 10th-seeded Red Devils shot out to their fastest start of the season, scoring the game's first 15 points en route to a 46-19 victory over North Plainfield in the first round of the Somerset County Tournament.
It was Ridge's first game since the previous Saturday's road victory over Metuchen, with a snowout in between, and the layoff appeared to have done them well. Sophie Beneventine and Sam Weyrauch each finished with 10 points and Abby Ursino scored seven for Ridge (9-12).
"We definitely had a lot of practices (since the last game), and as each game goes on we are getting better," said Weyrauch, a junior forward who also had seven rebounds, three steals and three assists. "Our passing as a team has really improved, and we are getting a lot of wide open layups."
That passing excellence was certainly in evidence in the team's crisp opening quarter, when the Red Devils ripped off 15 straight points before North Plainfield scored its first points with a minute left. Weyrauch and Juliana Spitzner each passed for two assists and Annabelle Pesarchick had one during the 15-point opening burst, which featured five points from Beneventine, as well as some sharp Ridge defense, which created several turnovers out of its halfcourt trap and turned those into transition opportunities at the offensive end.
The third quarter was another keeper for Ridge, which shut out the Canucks, 16-0, in the period. Weyrauch scored six points and Beneventine five in the third quarter.
"A game like this boosts our confidence," Weyrauch said. "Our team's energy is up, and the bench is very supportive."
Ridge will be on the road against seventh-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan in the second round of the tournament Tuesday night.