By WAYNE GRUMET
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 20, 2001
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Ridgewood frustrated Land O'Lakes on Wednesday night by using a fullcourt press and varied offensive sets, blowing open a close game in the second half for a 76-42 win.
Ridgewood (10-1, 6-0 in Class 4A, District 8) began the game in a rut, missing 11 of its first 12 shots. But the Rams trailed just 5-2 after the cold spell.
Ridgewood found its shot and used a 22-4 run during the second and third quarters to open up a 47-25 lead.
"We were rushing our shots a little bit ... I think it was adrenaline," Ridgewood coach Gary Zimmerman said.
"We were pumped up for the game."
Land O'Lakes was hurt early on the boards. The Gators allowed 16 offensive rebounds in the first half, including 13 in the first quarter.
"I was just happy we were getting that many shots. Usually we get one and we're done. We were getting a lot of rebounds," Zimmerman said.
Ridgewood's defense channeled the energy well, forcing 22 turnovers. The Rams held Land O'Lakes to 12 of 51 shooting.
Ridgewood's Joeyn Dearsman hit eight 3-pointers, breaking her own school record of seven. Dearsman finished with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
Ridgewood's Crystal Ayers struggled the most in the early going, missing her first eight shots. She bounced back to score 20 points, all after the first quarter. She also had 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
The Rams led 50-30 after three quarters and started to slow the pace on offense. But Land O'Lakes (10-3, 7-2) became even more frustrated, allowing the Rams to score 26 fourth-quarter points.
"If you got a lead, you make them spread it out and play you man-to-man, then the points get easier," Zimmerman said.
"I don't know what fell apart," Land O'Lakes coach Greg Robinson said.
Roshaunda Washington led the Gators with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. The Gators' other six scorers combined for 22 points.