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Knights finally get first win

Kyle Johnson leads River Ridge past Springstead with 30 points in the GCAC-SAC Shootout.

By FRANK PASTOR

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 13, 2002


BROOKSVILLE -- River Ridge's Kyle Johnson played on a winning team last year in Houghton Lakes, Mich., so the Royal Knights' 0-16 start this season was a new experience for him.

BROOKSVILLE -- River Ridge's Kyle Johnson played on a winning team last year in Houghton Lakes, Mich., so the Royal Knights' 0-16 start this season was a new experience for him.

Now, he's back on familiar ground.

Johnson scored a career-high 30 points Saturday as River Ridge defeated Springstead 58-48 for its first victory of the season.

The Sunshine Athletic Conference won four of the first five games in the inaugural Gulf Coast Athletic Conference-Sunshine Athletic Conference Shootout at Central.

The final game between Lecanto and Land O'Lakes wasn't complete at press time.

Johnson said his adrenaline hadn't pumped so wildly since he made two foul shots in double overtime to lift his former team to an upset victory against Michigan's 10th-ranked team last season.

"It's still pumping right now," he said afterward. "It feels so good to finally win."

Johnson, Drew Thomas (18 points) and Bobby Mazalewski (eight) scored all but two of River Ridge's points, and the Knights (1-16), who blew an early 11-4 lead, outscored Springstead 21-8 in the third quarter to take control.

GULF 51, CENTRAL 43: The Buccaneers (15-2) outscored the Bears (4-10) by 10 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a one-point deficit and turn back the Bears' upset bid.

"(Central) came out and they dictated tempo in the first half," Gulf coach Steve Feldman said. "I thought the second half we got after it a bit more. We picked up our defense and that gave us a spurt of a little bit of energy and that was enough."

HERNANDO 77, WESLEY CHAPEL 73: Jerrell Graham scored a career-high 43 points and the Leopards (9-6) overcame 13 3-pointers by the Wildcats (12-5) to secure the GCAC's first win.

"This shows everybody that we're a contender," said Graham, whose previous high was 34 points last season against Tarpon Springs. "We're not a pushover. We're going to come play."

RIDGEWOOD 64, CITRUS 62: Mike Argerenon made two foul shots for the Rams (16-3) after the Hurricanes' (12-3) Brandon Green inexplicably fouled him with 5.6 seconds remaining in a tie game. PASCO 59, CRYSTAL RIVER 48: Pasco (6-10) scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to break open a close game against Crystal River (5-15).

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