One up, one down for Ridgefield hoop teams vs. Ludlowe

The Ridgefield High boys and girls basketball teams split their games against Fairfield Ludlowe on Friday evening.

The victory came in Fairfield, where the RHS girls team defeated Ludlowe, 60-43. It was the fourth straight win for the Tigers, who raised their record to 8-1 overall.

Grace Goodwin scored a game-high 20 points for Ridgefield. Thirteen of Goodwin's points came in the opening half, which ended with the Tigers ahead, 35-24.

Meaghan O'Hara added nine points for Ridgefield, while Bridget Paulmann led Ludlowe with a game-high 25 points.

On its home court, the RHS boys hoop team fell to Ludlowe, 51-39. After winning five consecutive games, Ridgefield has now dropped two straight and is 5-4 overall this season.

Trailing 41-34 with under three minutes remaining, the Tigers got a driving basket from Chris Longo, who was fouled on the play. Longo sank the free throw to pull the hosts within four points with 2:18 to go.

Ludlowe then focused on running down the clock, forcing Ridgefield to foul. The Falcons hit 10 of 12 free throws in the final two minutes to finish off their triumph.

"I think tonight was us not ready to play ... " said Ridgefield head coach Andrew McClellan. "I think it was us not respecting the opponent we were going to play. Again, that's up to myself and the coaching staff to get them ready to play. I thought from the very tip Ludlowe was more hungry and more enthusiastic, and had more energy and just wanted the game so much more."

Longo and Nick Laudati led Ridgefield with 11 points apiece. Longo scored nine of his points in the second half, and Laudati got seven of his points on free throws.

The Tigers were playing their second game without junior forward Brenden McNamara, the team's leading scorer this season. McNamara is sidelined indefinitely with a broken foot.

"When Brenden is out, our margin for error is smaller," said McClellan. "Really, all I think people need to do is do their job, against this team (Ludlowe), and we'll be fine. To win against the top half of the league and some of our [other] opponents, then yes, people need to step up. But that's not what needed to happen tonight. The people that are in the spots that we usually count on didn't do their jobs tonight."

Press Sports Reporter Rich Kaufman contributed reporting to this story.