Ruffin too much for Crete Monee
February 13, 2012Wyideopen Sports
Boys Basketball: John Ruffin’s free throws lift Rich South past Crete-Monee
BY PAT DISABATOemail@example.com
Last Modified: Feb 7, 2012 09:48PMJohn Ruffin never had a doubt he would come through Tuesday night with the game on the line.
The Rich South senior, who was 4-of-7 from the free-throw line, stepped to the charity stripe with 10 seconds remaining in regulation and his team trailing 51-50 to Crete-Monee.
“I approached the line with the confidence that I was going to make them,” Ruffin said. “I said to myself, ‘I’m going to make them.’”
Which is precisely what Ruffin did, lifting Rich South to a 52-51 win over No. 17 Crete-Monee in a pivotal Southland Conference battle in Richton Park.
“We have a free-throw drill that has a fatigue effect,” Rich South coach Scot Ritter said. “It’s about repetition, routine and confidence. John was exactly who we wanted on the line.”
The Warriors had a chance to win the game, but Michael Orris’s three-pointer was off the mark. Orris made five threes on the night, including a 27-foot buzzer-beater to end the the first half and another in the fourth that gave Crete-Monee a 49-45 lead with 2:11 remaining.
The Warriors turned the ball over twice in the final 39 seconds while protecting a 51-50 lead.
“I thought it was in,” said Crete-Monee coach Tom Cappel of Orris’s last-second attempt. “I told them to take the ball to the hole, but (Rich South) set up a trap and we did a good job kicking the ball out to Mike. It just didn’t fall.”
Rich South had enjoyed a four-point lead (35-31) after three quarters. Cedric Russell scored six of his 10 points in the third.
Ruffin finished with 18 points and pulled down 20 rebounds. Ralph Abraham (11 points), Russell (10) and Marquell Small (eight) provided super support for Rich South (18-5, 5-1).
“We gave up too many offensive rebounds in the first half, but I thought we did a better job of hitting the boards in the second half,” Ritter said. “This is a big win. It keeps up right there in conference.”
Orris led the Warriors (15-6, 5-2) with 17 points. LaQuon Treadwell added 14 and Marvie Keith 10. Crete-Monee finished 19-of-45 from the field. Rich South was 18-of-30.
The game was chippy throughout. “There was a lot of talking,” Ruffin said. “We tried to keep our composure. This is a real big win. We want to win the rest of the way out.”