After an up and down season, the Ridgeview girls basketball team appears to be headed in the right direction as it enters the second half of league play.
After a Jan. 11 loss at rival Redmond to open Intermountain Conference play, Ridgeview (2-2 IMC, 7-11 overall) has gone 2-1 in the league. After defeating Hood River Valley and Crook County on the road, they fell 60-48 Feb. 1 at The Dalles.
Ridgeview’s boys and girls games against Pendleton, which had been scheduled for Jan. 5, were canceled due to winter weather.
The Ravens had some issues early, with junior star Rylee Troutman suffering a concussion and sophomore Paige Pentzer missing games with a broken wrist. They were also trying to replace five seniors from a team that finished second behind Bend in the IMC in 2017-18. Among them was first-team all-league player Aspen Jeter.
But the Ravens, who are tied for third place, are looking for a strong finish, second-year coach Shan Hartford said. After playing their last seven games on the road, they will play at Ridgeview for the second half of IMC play, starting Friday against Hood River Valley.
“The last two weeks, we finally had everybody together healthy,” Hartford said. “We’re a little behind where we’d like to be, but we’re in good shape.”
A likely turning point were some social gatherings, including a potluck meal, that brought the players together earlier in the season, Hartford said.
“We were struggling to replace the five seniors and the leadership they showed last year,” he said.
Hartford sees Ridgeview as still having a chance at the league title.
“Redmond is playing fantastic, they’re the frontrunner right now,” he said. “We only play two games against each other, that tiebreaker against Redmond will be interesting if we get there.”
The Ravens would likely have to not only defeat Redmond in Tuesday’s rematch, they might have to do it by more than the 15-point margin the Panthers won by in the earlier matchup, since Hartford said total points in head-to-head games is the tiebreaker for teams that split the league series.
Hartford is hoping for a similar atmosphere to the boys and girls doubleheader at Redmond when the Ravens get their chance to play host. The Panthers’ gym was near capacity for both games.
“That was awesome all-around for both programs and the city,” he said.
Troutman, who earned IMC player of the year for Ridgeview’s state runner-up volleyball team, has been leading the basketball team in scoring at 11.5 points per game, going into The Dalles game. Fellow junior wing/post Alaina Clark was close behind with 11.2 points and senior wing/guard Ashley Hall was averaging 10 points.
Among the things the Ravens will need to work on is executing better against zone defense, Hartford said.
“We have a tendency to get in a hurry,” he said. “Patience on offense is not our strong point.”
The Ravens will also need to find a fourth offensive option, Hartford said.
“We’ve had (other) players step up, but none have been consistent for us,” he said.
While man-to-man defense has been strong for the Ravens, Hartford is looking for improved 1-3-1 zone play to help them compete against the strong teams.
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