With 3:33 left in the third quarter and his team ahead 49-35, Andrew McClellan called a timeout.
“We’ve got our sign up in the locker room that says defend no matter what — don’t look at the scoreboard, defend no matter what, McClellan, the Ridgefield boys basketball head coach, said. “There was one stretch in the third quarter where I didn’t think we were doing that, so I called a timeout and they (the Ridgefield players) got right back after it.”
Yes, they certainly did. The Tigers ended the third period on a 16-4 run and went on to trample St. Joseph, 88-50, on Friday night at Ridgefield High School.
Senior guard James St. Pierre caused mayhem on yet another defense, torching St. Joseph for 26 points. Johnny Briody had 15 points (on five 3-pointers) and Luke McGarrity added 12 points for Ridgefield (12-4), which got scoring from 11 players.
“We were just really sharp moving the ball and sharing the ball,” McClellan said. “We had a lot of contributors.”
Although the teams entered the game tied for fourth place in the overall conference standings, Ridgefield was in control by the end of the opening quarter. After Brendan Kade’s three-point play gave St. Joseph an 11-8 lead, the Tigers scored 15 straight points to go ahead 23-11 through the first eight minutes. St. Pierre, Matt Misurelli, and Briody all hit 3-pointers during the run.
Ridgefield then finished the second quarter with a 6-0 spurt that produced a 41-24 halftime lead.
Matt DeLuca’s steal and dunk put the Tigers in front 47-26 with five minutes left in the third quarter, but St. Joseph (10-5) got five points from Paul Fabbri as part of 9-2 run that prompted McClellan to call timeout.
When play resumed, Ridgefield re-intensified its defensive effort and got 3-pointers from Chris Knachel, McGarrity, and Yohann Britto to extend its lead to 65-39 through three quarters.
McClellan said he was surprised by the 38-point margin of victory.
“I think that’s a well-coached team … they were tied with us for fourth in the standings,” McClellan said about St. Joseph. “So yeah, there was no way we thought it would be that big of a final margin. We just played better than them tonight.”
Ridgefield 88, St. Joseph 50