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'Aggressive' Northridge tops Fairfield in boys basketball

Nate Ritchie collects 29 points and 10 rebounds as Northridge moves to 13-2.


Posted on Feb. 4, 2014 at 11:43 p.m.

MIDDLEBURY — With Fairfield consistently connecting from the outside, Northridge went inside.

The strategy worked as the Raiders topped the Falcons 66-54 Tuesday, Feb. 4, in boys basketball at "The Middlebury Madhouse."

"We had to keep being aggressive," said Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas, who saw his Raiders (13-2) make 23 of 27 free throws including 14 of 17 in the fourth quarter. "We wanted to keep attacking the bucket. We didn't want to settle."

Nate Ritchie enjoyed a double-double (29 points, 10 rebounds) in helping Northridge move to 6-1 in the 2014 part of its schedule. The 6-foot-7 senior produced 14 points, including 8 of 9 at the foul stripe, with four rebounds in the fourth quarter as the Raiders began to pull away in what had been a close game up to that point.

Tom Morrison scored 11 of his 13 points for Northridge in the second half. Sam Ahonen had six of his 11 in the first half for the Raiders.

The 6-4 Morrison and 6-1 Ahonen also took turns shadowing Fairfield's Joe Line. While the athletic 6-2 Falcon junior wound up with a team-high 21 points, he had to earn them.

"Sam and Tom did a good job on him," said Thomas. "Tom's length bothered him."

Thomas said Line combines size and the ability to play with contact. Line scored seven points in both the first and third quarters.

Josh Stephens buried four of the Falcons' eight 3-pointers - three coming in the second quarter - and wound up with 14 points.

John Stack tossed in two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and wound up with six points for Fairfield (8-5).

The Falcons committed 18 turnovers, but only five of those came in the second half. Three of the Raiders' 10 turnovers came after halftime.

Northridge led 27-25 at halftime to 43-38 at the end of three periods then went up 54-43 midway through the fourth quarter on the heels of a 20-10 run. 

The loss snapped a two-game win streak for coach Troy Beachy's Falcons.

The game was the opener in a varsity boys/girls doubleheader and both were make-up games. The same three officials -- Jeff Meeks, Brett Ratcliffe and Phil Teusch -- were called upon to work both the boys and girls contests. 

NORTHRIDGE 66, FAIRFIELD 54

Fairfield — Thomas Martin 0-0 4-4 4, Joe Line 9-18 2-3 21, Brock Goeglein 1-3 0-0 3, Marcus Rodes 0-5 0-0 0, John Stack 2-3 0-0 6, Mitch DeWitt 0-1 1-2 1, Sam Brown 2-4 1-1 5, Josh Stephens 5-6 0-0 14, Clay Bontrager 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-40 (.475) 8-10 (.800) 54.

Northridge — Nate Ritchie 7-14 15-17 29, Tom Morrison 4-7 3-4 13, Kurtis Hochstetler 0-1 0-0 0, Pete Smith 3-7 2-2 9, Sam Ahonen 4-7 3-4 11, Christian Bach 0-0 0-0 0, Collin Utley 1-2 0-0 2, Payton Carson 1-1 0-0 2, Brock Downey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-39 (.518) 23-27 (.851) 66.

Scoring By Quarters

Fairfield — 10 15 13 16 — 54

Northridge — 12 15 16 23 — 66

3-point goals: Fairfield (8-12) — Stephens 4-4, Stack 2-3, Line 1-2, Goeglein 1-3; Northridge (3-10) — Morrison 2-3, Smith 1-4.

Rebounds: 3-point goals: Fairfield (17) — Goeglein 5, Brown 4; Northridge (23) — Ritchie 10, Morrison 6, Ahonen 5

Turnovers: Fairfield 18, Northridge 10.

Total fouls: Fairfield 19, Northridge 12. Fouled out — none.

Officials: Jeff Meeks, Leo; Brett Ratcliffe, Garrett; Phil Teusch, Fort Wayne.

Records: Northridge 13-2, Fairfield 8-5..

Next: Elkhart Christian at Fairfield, Wawasee at Northridge, both Saturday, Feb. 8.




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