John Barbee isn’t too concerned with how many games are left on the road to a Class 2A state championship.
“We’re taking them just one at a time,” said the fourth-year River Ridge coach.
Well, one down.
The top-ranked Hawks (19-1) knocked off Kingston, 79-49, at home in the first round of the West Central/SeaKing bidistrict tournament on Wednesday.
And, as usual, set a blistering pace from tipoff.
River Ridge scored 25 points apiece in the first and second quarters to take a 50-20 lead into the half — including making all seven of its 3-point attempts.
“Everybody’s athletic, and we just go after it,” senior guard Kobe Key said. “That’s all we do.”
It really is. River Ridge finished with five players in double figures.
Key scored a game-high 16 points while Mac Armstrong and Jaden White each put up 14. LaBrandon Price added another 11 and Issiah Scott had 10.
“We’re just really balanced,” Barbee said. “That’s a sign of a good team. If one guy is maybe having a bad night, there’s three or four other guys picking him up.”
But Wednesday wasn’t one of those nights. The Hawks found a bucket on most trips up the floor in the first half before coasting to the win. River Ridge led by as many as 37.
Kingston (10-11) was led by Ali Chiquiti, who scored a team-high 15 points — and accounted for seven of the nine points the Buccaneers put up in the second quarter. Andrew Shaw added another 13.
But Kingston otherwise didn’t have much room to work, and produced its best quarter — a 15-point fourth — when it was far too late for a comeback. River Ridge’s lead never dipped below 28.
“It’s always nice to have a big win first game,” Key said. “But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We’ve just got to stay hungry and humble.”
The Hawks will play Renton (12-10) in the second round at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Curtis High School.
“The best thing to do is come out and get a win,” Barbee said. “And now you’re one away from that regional spot.”
And the Hawks might not want to get ahead of themselves, but it’s seven wins to a state title.
Kingston 11 9 14 15_49
No. 1 River Ridge 25 25 17 12_79
K: Chiquiti 15, English 2, Shaw 13, Sax 2, Gregory 13, Spencer 4
RR: Price 11, Dorfner 9, Key 16, Armstrong 14, White 14, Sanders 5, Scott 10