In a game of runs, River Ridge had the first, but Black Hills had the longest and strongest to come away with a 64-45 victory in a non-league match-up of typically tough Class 2A programs Tuesday night.
River Ridge got out to a five-point lead after a quarter as sophomore guard Caitlin Yenne scored eight of her eventual 15 points.
But a 13-point run beginning with the final basket of the first and carrying over into the second quarter gave the Wolves a lead they didn’t never relinquish, eventually building it as high as 21 with a 21-6 explosion in the fourth quarter.
Black Hills coach Tanya Greenfield credited mixing up her team’s defenses with turning the tide.
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“We weren’t doing too well guarding their two quick guards (Yenne and senior Makenna Schultz) man-to-man early, so we decided to change our defenses up a bit.”
A variety of half court zones and full court zone pressure forced a number of Hawks turnovers and hurried shots as Black Hills took control then pulled away.
River Ridge (4-5) grabbed its final lead four minutes into the game when Mallory Papac drove for her only basket of the night to put the Hawks up, 10-8. Yenne briefly made the River Ridge edge seven, 20-13, with a 3-pointer off her dribble, but then Black Hills began its streak of 13 consecutive points.
“We try to push when we need to,” Greenfield said. “It was about us showing heart, sensing when the momentum was about to go our way and putting the pressure on.”
With Black Hills leading 43-35 entering the final period, River Ridge in-bounded and looked as if it would make it a close game down the stretch as Madeline Retzlaff began the scoring with a putback and Schultz quickly added a drive down the middle for two of her team-high 20 points.
But when the Hawks added to a spate of seven fouls committed over the late third and early fourth quarter, Rachel LaBelle knocked down a pair of free throws for Black Hills and the rout was on with the Wolves scoring 15 unanswered points to remove any doubt as to the outcome.
Emma Duff played a strong overall game for Black Hills (5-1), finishing with 17 points. Freshman Maisy Williams added 14 and Lindsey Nurmi 12.
“I was proud of Maisy. She put in a lot of minutes and got a little tired but kept working hard,” Greenfield said.
River Ridge 20 9 6 10 - 45
Black Hills 15 17 11 21 - 64
RR –. MaKenna Schultz 20, Caitlin Yenne 15, Madaline Retzlaff 6, Mallory Papac 2, Ajae Orie 2, Lauryn Gray 0, Meilani Wilson 0.
BH – .Maisy Williams 10, Rachael LaBelle 8, Taylor Patti 2, Bailey Rollman 2, Sammi Payne 3, Emma Duff 17, Megan Reichert 6, Lindsey Nurmi 12, Kayley Moloney 0, Liselote Bal 0.