MISHAWAKA — The Nate Ritchie Classic ... er, McDonald’s Michiana All-Star boys basketball game ... went the way of Ritchie and the Red team.
The Northridge High School senior poured in a game-high 29 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds as the Red defeated the Gray 147-133 on Monday, March 31, at Bethel College’s Wiekamp Center.
It was the third annual game — and Ritchie’s third appearance. As he was the lone sophomore in the inaugural contest, he’s also the only individual who’s played in all three.
And not just played, but starred. In that first one, he was the top scorer with 22 points and went 11-of-13 from the field for the winning side. Last year, he added 15 points in a loss.
"These games are just so much fun," said Ritchie, who is considering signing with Toledo or walking on at Indiana, where he has been in contact with the coaches.
"It goes back to sophomore year with Demetrius (Jackson, another star of that first contest)," Ritchie said. "No one really knew what to expect, (but) I think the community has started to see it, and we just all thrive off it (as players). It’s not just me. Tra’Veon (Johnson) put on a show."
Johnson of South Bend Washington added 25 points, with at least eight dunks, and another Johnson — Concord’s Ramon — netted 16 points in addition to keying the Red team’s pull-away effort down the stretch.
NorthWood’s Zach Zurcher was a major part of that 13-2 closing rush, too, and finished with 22 points.
Johnson’s Concord teammate, junior Filip Serwatka, playing for the Gray, matched Ritchie’s game high with 29 points.
Penn junior Jordan Geist had 13 points and a game-high 10 assists for the Gray.