Just ask Brad Wallace, who lit up Capital for a career-high 44 points last month in a losing effort by the River Ridge boys basketball team.
The talented senior managed just 30 points in the rematch, but the end results were far more favorable as River Ridge ran its winning streak to seven games with a key 66-62 victory over the visiting Cougars in Evergreen Conference 2A action on Friday.
“I’ll take 30 over 44 any game if it means we’re going to win,” said Wallace, who made all four of his free-throw attempts in the final 16 seconds to seal the victory. “It was just a fast-paced game. I thought we had it wrapped up earlier, but they just kept hitting shots down the stretch. It was a fun game, plenty of action.”
River Ridge, the defending EvCo and district champion, improved its record to 10-6 overall and 5-3 in EvCo play.
The Hawks have not lost since dropping an 87-80 conference game to Centralia on Dec. 18.
“I think we are picking up some momentum as the regular season comes to and end,” said Wallace, last year’s EvCo player of the year. “That’s what we want to see.”
Wallace blistered the Cougars (10-6, 5-3) for a school-record 44 points in a 93-82 River Ridge loss on Dec. 14.
In that contest Wallace was white-hot from long range, something which didn’t occur in round two as he missed 7 of 11 from 3-point territory.
Unable to find his stroke, Wallace attacked the basket for most of the second half and found success, scoring 20 points after halftime.
“Just trying to find other ways to score,” said Wallace, who pulled down five rebounds and added four assists. “Outside really wasn’t there tonight so I went inside.”
Wallace and Jonathon Roberts scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the first half, helping the Hawks to a 37-25 lead.
Capital opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run and cut the deficit to 43-41 on Jacob Pratt’s 3-pointer with 21/2 minutes left in the quarter.
Wallace scored 12 of his team’s 15 third-quarter points, and he gave River Ridge a 60-51 advantage on a free throw with 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Back charged the Cougars, who cut the deficit to 61-60 on a Mat Cox free throw with 1:30 left.
Justin Rudd, who paced Capital with 20 points, had a chance to tie the game at 62 with 18 seconds left but missed both his free throws before Wallace went 4-for-4 from the line to send the Hawks to the victory.
The Cougars also received 14 points from Keenan Williams and 11 from Cox.