Smith has fun orchestrating damage as Northridge moves to 4-0

Raiders send Jimmies to first boys basketball loss.
Posted on Dec. 10, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

JIMTOWN — Until Tuesday, Dec. 10, Northridge had been featuring an abundance of Ritchie.

On Tuesday, the Raiders flashed an abundance of riches.

And junior Pete Smith orchestrated much of the damage, dealing a game-high eight assists to go with a game-high four steals as Northridge knocked off the host Jimmies 49-35 in boys high school basketball on Jerry Cook Court.

“I like getting my teammates involved,” Smith said. “It’s a fun part of the game.”

The Raiders improved to 4-0 for the first time since they won their first 21 games in 2008-09, and for just the second time in the last 13 years.

Jimtown (2-1) suffered its first loss, on the heels of starting with 49- and 45-point victories over Howe and Clinton Christian last week.

Northridge senior standout Nate Ritchie — who went into the game averaging 27.3 points, accounting for 41 percent of his team’s total — was limited to 11, but he didn’t force much, either, finishing 5-of-8 from the field, while junior Tom Morrison also had 11 points and senior Sam Ahonen 10.

Morrison and Ahonen also combined for four blocked shots and four steals, three of those blocks by Morrison.

“Nate, of course, has been scoring a lot,” said Smith, who finished with eight points, “but tonight we were more balanced. We’ve been moving the ball well, and it’s helping us win games.”

“Pete’s almost too unselfish sometimes,” Raider coach Ronnie Thomas said, “but he’s playing a great floor game right now. He’s finding guys, knocking down open shots, and we usually stick him on one of the other team’s better perimeter players. He did a really good job on (Adam) DeShone tonight.”

Smith ignited Northridge’s 8-0 run to start the second half by making a steal and racing for an uncontested layup. He added an offensive rebound and quick-flip pass to Ritchie for the next basket, and capped the run with a 14-footer for a 32-17 Raider lead.

After that, the teams traded spurts, with the Jimmies scoring seven points in a row, and Northridge striking right back for nine in a row to take a 43-24 lead by the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

“What was good to see was when Jimtown made a run, we responded to it,” Thomas said. “Teams are going to make runs at home, but we came right back from it.”

“Really, I thought our kids did exactly what we expected them to do on the defensive end and I was proud of them,” Jimtown coach Ron Dietz said, “but offensively, we had too many turnovers. We gave up too many fast-break layups because we did not take care of the basketball. We talked about hanging on to the ball, but we’re also dealing with young kids and they’re learning. I don’t fault them one bit.”

“We came out in half-court pressure a little bit there, tried to mix it up,” Thomas said of his team’s second-quarter trapping that helped turn a 12-11 hole into a 20-12 lead, with a couple of the scores coming via takeaways.

The Jimmies coughed up 11 turnovers through three quarters to Northridge’s five.

Buoyed by their buckets off turnovers, the Raiders shot 53 percent from the field to Jimtown’s 43 percent.

“We had some different guys step up,” Thomas said. “We have some things we have to shore up at both ends, but it’s always nice to get a road win.”

For the Jimmies, junior Nick Floyd and sophomore Trevor Hobbs scored 11 points apiece and combined for nine boards, with Hobbs also playing the lead in defending Ritchie.

“I thought Trevor did a great job on Ritchie, and got help when he needed help,” Dietz said, “and then (Austin) Secor and Dylan Guldager did a nice job on Smith. Really, (Smith) got most of his scoring off steals.”

“I think Jimtown’s going to be really good the next couple years,” Thomas said of a team that started two juniors and two sophomores, and brought four more underclassmen off the bench. “It’ll be exciting to watch them.”


Northridge — Nate Ritchie 5-8 1-2 11, Tom Morrison 3-5 5-5 11, Christian Bach 1-4 0-0 2, Pete Smith 4-6 0-0 8, Sam Ahonen 4-6 2-3 10, Collin Utley 1-2 0-0 2, Payton Carson 0-1 0-0 0, Brock Downey 1-2 0-0 3, Kurtis Hochstetler 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 20-38 (.526) 8-10 (.800) 49

Jimtown — Trevor Hobbs 5-6 1-4 11, Nick Floyd 4-9 0-0 11, Austin Secor 0-0 0-0 0, Chase Hoeflinger 3-6 0-0 6, Adam DeShone 1-6 0-0 3, Dylan Guldager 1-5 0-0 2, Kain Templeton 0-1 0-0 0, Sam Pawlak 1-2 0-0 2, Blane Bender 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-35 (.429) 1-4 (.250) 35.

Scoring By Quarters

Northridge 8 16 17 8 — 49

Jimtown 10 7 7 11 — 35

3-point goals: Northridge (1-8) — Downey 1-2; Jimtown (4-14) — Floyd 3-6, DeShone 1-5.

Rebounds: Northridge (22) — Ritchie 6, Hochstetler 4; Jimtown (19) — Floyd 5, Hobbs 4.

Assists: Northridge (10) — Smith 8; Jimtown (14) — DeShone 4.

Steals: Northridge (10) — Smith 4, Morrison 2, Ahonen 2; Jimtown (4) — Hobbs, Floyd, Hoeflinger, DeShone 1 each.

Turnovers: Northridge 8, Jimtown 13.

Fouls: Northridge 13, Jimtown 15. Fouled out — none.

Records: Northridge 4-0, Jimtown 2-1.

Next: Northridge at Angola Friday, Dec. 13; Jimtown at Argos Saturday, Dec. 14.

JV: Northridge 40, Jimtown 10. Top scorers: Northridge — Dylan Sandy 12, Eric Burgess 6, Matt Miller 6; Jimtown — Danny Garner 4. JV records: Northridge 4-0, Jimtown 2-1.

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