Ringgold heading to playoffs on winning note
CARROLL TOWNSHIP — It was by no means a masterpiece, but the Ringgold Rams ended their three-game losing streak with a 52-42 come-from-behind victory over oft-beaten McGuffey Friday night in their Class AAA Section 5 finale.
Andrew Stine led the way scoring 16 points, while fellow seniors Zack Smith (14) and Colin McCormick (10) combined for 24 points for the Rams, who at one point trailed by 10 in the third quarter.
"I'm really proud of our team to be down by ten at one point and end up winning by ten," Rams coach Pete Logan said. "That just shows you something about these kids. For seeding purposes, it's huge."
The Rams (15-6, 7-5) started off hot, running out to a 19-11 first quarter lead but fizzled on the defensive end as they were outscored 17-4 in the second quarter.
"At halftime, we knew we had to do a better job defensively," Logan said. "We went to the offensive-defense rotation in the second half. That's a real credit to the kids to accept their roles there."
The defensive pressure worked to rattle the Highlanders (5-15, 2-10) as they forced 13 second half turnovers.
The Rams went on a 9-0 run to end the third quarter trailing by one (33-32.)
But back-to-back 3-pointers by Stine vaulted the Rams to a 42-40 lead.
It was all downhill from there as the Rams went on to outscore the Highlanders 20-4 in the final quarter behind eight points from Stine and an 11-for-12 performance from the free throw line.
"We started making foul shots and we were able to get the ball down low," Logan said. "We got them into foul trouble, and we played with a lot of intensity."
Ringgold finished tied for third in the section with Trinity.
Kyle Rose led the Highlanders with 15 points, while Grant Braun and Taylor Pasquariello each scored 11.
The Rams will play host to highly touted West Mifflin (19-2) in an exhibition Monday.
"We'll look at it as more of an exhibition," Logan said. "We're not going to take the game off, but we're going to get some guys some more playing time and just see what happens on Tuesday when we get seeded."