RIDGEFIELD — The Ridgefield men’s basketball team has a new weapon to help the Spudders advance to the postseason in the 2A Greater St. Helens League.
Defense of the third quarter.
“Our JV coach pointed to the fact that we’re allowing an average of one basket per game in the third quarter of the last two games,” Ridgefield coach Jason Buffum said.
On Monday, that third-quarter defense helped lead Ridgefield back to a game against Columbia River that the Spudders would eventually lose.
On Wednesday, he helped Ridgefield build a lead that would lead the Spudders to a key 46-38 win over Woodland.
“A great win for us,” Buffum said. “Our approach tonight was like, ‘Look. These guys are ahead of us in the standings. They have some good players. We have to play better.’ ”
The Spudders did that, especially on defense when Woodland’s two-point third quarter allowed Ridgefield to turn a 23-22 halftime deficit into a 34-25 lead. Carter Thompson hit three 3-pointers in the quarter, including one just before the end of the period.
“I found him in the first half and rode with him,” Thompson said. “My colleagues found me. I was moving to the right places. It’s just that when you’re hot, you’re hot.”
And Thompson hasn’t always been attractive.
“He’s been a little shaky lately, going out there and making big shots in the big moments,” Buffum said. “(Cole) Chester and Sid Bryant defended their guys defensively.”
Thompson said: “Defensively, our goal is to stop every time and play to the best of our ability. We need that because we don’t have the offensive firepower all the time.”
Ridgefield increased their lead to 12 at 41-29 before Woodland hit three 3-pointers down the stretch to pull within five.
But Colten Castro’s 3-pointer with 48 seconds left helped seal it.
Thompson made 5 total 3-pointers and led the Spudders with 17 points. Bryant added nine points, Chester had eight and Castro finished with seven.
“Everyone who played contributed, Buffum said. “It was a great team effort.”
Drew Burns led Woodland with 11, and Beau Swett and Dane Huddleston each added eight.
Following the loss to River on Monday, Wednesday’s win helped Ridgefield (6-6, 5-3 2A GSHL) to a tie Woodland (8-5, 5-3) for third place to cap the first half of the league schedule.
Thompson hopes Wednesday’s effort will propel the Spudders into the second half of the league.
“We need wins,” Thompson said. “We need to play well, compete for four quarters and get wins.”
RIDGEFIELD 46, FOREST 38
WOODLAND — Beau Swett 8, Justin Philpot 3, Dane Huddleston 8, Gus Heidgerken 0, Lucas Logan 8, Drew Burns 11. Totals 15 (7) 1-1 38.
RIDGEFIELD — Sid Bryant 9, Colton Warren 0, Cole Chester 8, Landon Kelsey 3, Colten Castro 7, Carter Thompson 17, Jalen Dunn 2, Damion Jiles 0. Totals 17 (9) 3-6 46.
Forest 15 8 2 13—38
Ridgefield 13 9 12 12—46