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Ringgold runs past Charleroi

| Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Ringgold's #23 John Maldonado puts up two over Charleroi's #33 Evan Anderson and #4 Eric Johnson at Ringgold High. Jim Ference | The Valley Independent

It's not too often that both coaches have a smile on their faces after a game.

But that's what happened Friday night at Ringgold after the host Rams defeated Charleroi, 60-42, in the season opener for both teams.

Ringgold coach Pete Logan was happy because his team got off to a quick start, forced plenty of Charleroi turnovers early and never gave up control of the game after grabbing the early lead.

Charleroi coach Bill Wiltz was pleased because he said his team did what it needed to do, but just suffered from a case of the first-game jitters, as well as trying to deal with the speedy, pressing Rams.

Ringgold jumped out to an 8-1 lead 2:40 into the game and when John Maldonado drained a three-pointer with 2:18 to play in the quarter, the lead was 16-3.

Maldonado, who led Ringgold with a game-high 22 points, hit four treys in the first half as he scored 14 of his points.

“We're going to depend on both John and Dayshore (Majors) early on until the rest of the players get up to speed,” said Logan. “But it's no doubt John had the hot hand for us tonight.”

Meanwhile, the Rams limited Charleroi to just five field goals in the first half as the hosts took a comfortable 36-20 lead into halftime.

“Actually, I thought we played pretty well,” Wiltz said. “I think we were a little nervous and our shots didn't fall. I know we are a better shooting team than we showed in the first half.

“And Ringgold has a lot of speed, more than we will see in most of our games. This was a good first game for us and I'm pleased.”

Ringgold's biggest lead of the night was 22 points in the third quarter when Demetrius Louis scored with 4:04 to play in the stanza to make it 44-22.

However, the Cougars did battle back to cut the deficit to 12 points twice after that, but could get no closer.

“In the second half, I think we got away from the things we did in the first half and quit trusting each other,” said Logan. “I told the players we have to develop that trust and I think we will in time. Overall, I was happy.”

While Maldonado was the lone Ram in double figures, Charleroi was paced by Jim Diaz and Eric Johnson with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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