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Crete falls to Rich South
February 11, 2012By Wyideopen Video Productions of Wyideopen Sports
Crete-Monee comes up short against Rich South
By Vince Vosti Times Correspondent | Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 9:45 pm
RICHTON PARK | Crete-Monee started Tuesday's game short. The team ended it short, too.
Tom Cappel's Warriors began the game against host Rich South with two players out of the lineup, one because of illness and the other because he forgot his uniform. Despite being short-handed, the Warriors battled through five fourth-quarter lead changes before a pair of free throws by the Stars' John Ruffin with 10 seconds left in the game lifted Rich South to a 52-51 Southland Athletic Conference victory.
The Times third-ranked Warriors (15-6 overall, 5-2 SAC) had a chance to win the game with their final possession, but the potential game-winning shot by Michael Orris in the final seconds rimmed short. The loss drops the Warriors a full game behind Bloom Township and a half game behind the Stars in the conference race.
"We wanted that final shot with him going to the basket, if we could," Cappel said. "I thought it was going in, to be honest."
The game was a heated battle, right from the start. Ruffin (18 points, 10 rebounds) and the Warriors' LaQuon Treadwell (14 points) exchanged words in the opening minute. Treadwell and the Stars' Marquell Small were slapped with a double technical foul midway through the first quarter, which ended tied at 11.
Neither team was able to build a lead of more than four points. While Rich South pounded the ball inside to Ruffin, the Warriors countered with numerous offensive chances generated by turnovers and the perimeter shooting of Orris, who hit five 3-point attempts as part of his team-high 17 points.
The Warriors put together an eight-point run with a bank shot by Treadwell and six points from Marvie Keith to give the Warriors a 39-35 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Stars (18-5, 5-1) came back behind Ruffin, who scored nine points in the deciding quarter.
With the Warriors ahead 51-50, the teams exchanged turnovers, with a steal off a Warrior inbounds play that gave the ball to the Stars with 16 seconds left in the game. Small drove the baseline, missed the shot, but Ruffin grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Orris as he attempted the putback.
Ruffin, who made 6-of-9 free throws, calmly sank both for the deciding points of the contest.
"This was a big win for us in the conference race," Stars coach Scot Ritter said. "Crete is a great team ... . Our rebounding and defense just keeps getting better."