Tonights game found our beloved Pioneers looking to extend their 8 game winning streak and forcing Coach Forcine to keep his lucky beard – but the Ridley Green Raiders weren’t gong to make it easy.
Stoga won the tip-off and with the help of a Frank Koblish 3 pointer, jumped to an early 7-0 lead in less than 2 minutes of play.
Stoga kept up this pace for the rest of quarter, while Ridley continued to chip away at the lead. The final moments of quarter ticked away with Riley Deshetler being sent to line and sinking both free throws; ending the first quarter 9-6.
Stoga came out ready to play in the second quarter, lead by an Austin Fontaine 3 pointer in the opening seconds; quickly making it 12-6. In an effort to stem the tide, Ridley upped their defense but this backfired when they sent Jack Troy to the line who sunk both free throws; making it 14-8.
Not wanting the Green Raiders to close the gap any further, Stoga upped their ever strong defense lead by Scott Smith. With lots of great passing, some forced turnovers, and working the ball inside to an awaiting Deacon Mayock for 2; Stoga continued to set the pace at 16-10, followed by another Frank Koblish 3 pointer quickly making it 19-12.
Remaining undaunted by the score and Stoga’s relentless defense, Ridley continued their slow and steady march on closing the gap; ending the second quarter 22-17 with Stoga still holding the lead.
Not wanting to face the hour long bus ride home in the cold with a loss, Ridley came out strong at the start of the 3rd quarter and didn’t let up until the buzzer sounded and they had closed the gap to 4; ending the third quarter 38-34 Stoga.
Even though Stoga was intent opening strong and stop Ridley’s momentum, Stoga could not buy a basket and within 60 seconds the score was tied; 38-38 and the duel for the lead had begun.
After many turnovers and failed attempts on both sides of the court, Ridley capped off their unabated march by taking their first lead of the night with 2:48 seconds left in the game; making it 40-38 Ridley!
Not one to be happy with the lead change, Austin Fontaine, stole the ball sparking the Stoga offense. Riley Deshetler capitalized on this momentum, fed to ball to Jordan Cuthbert who took it to the hole for 2; regaining the lead 42-40 with 1:08 remaining in the game.Ridley didn’t come this far and battle this hard to go down easy, so for the next 60 seconds they scraped and clawed their way for a basket but to no avail; Stoga found the basket for 2; making it 44-40.
In an effort to dash their comeback hopes and stop their advancement once and for all, Austin Fontaine stole the ball but was immediately fouled. When the foul shot couldn’t find the basket, Scott Smith grabbed the rebound and drove for 2, making it 46-40 with 9 seconds left on the clock and sealing the Green Raiders fate for a long cold bus ride home.
Congratulations to the Pioneers on a 46-40 win and extending their winning streak to 9!