Foul-riddled Masterson steps up in fourth quarter
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
January 05, 2014 12:35 AM | 1039 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
River Ridge coach Matt Bohon talks to his players during a timeout during Saturday's game against Woodstock. After the Knights played without Nick Masterson for much of the second and third quarters, Masterson’s return to the court in the fourth quarter proved to be the spark they needed to pull away from the Wolverines.
<BR>Staff photo by Emily Horos
River Ridge coach Matt Bohon talks to his players during a timeout during Saturday's game against Woodstock. After the Knights played without Nick Masterson for much of the second and third quarters, Masterson’s return to the court in the fourth quarter proved to be the spark they needed to pull away from the Wolverines.
Staff photo by Emily Horos
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WOODSTOCK — Nick Masterson spent the better part of Saturday’s game at Woodstock on the bench with foul trouble, but once he took the court in the fourth quarter, he put all of that behind him.

Masterson tallied 17 of his team-leading 21 points in the final period, and the Knights pulled way for a 47-33 victory over their neighbor to the west.

Masterson was limited to four points in the first three quarters after being saddled with three fouls early in the game. The senior picked up two fouls minutes into the first quarter and a third before halftime.

River Ridge coach Matt Bohon said other players took Masterson’s position on the court and the Knights (8-7) were able to hold onto their lead. But when Masterson took the court in the fourth, his impact was quickly evident.

He opened the period with a pair of three throws, which put River Ridge up 32-28. Woodstock answered with a pair of free throws of its own, but after that, it was all Masterson. Back-to-back 3-pointers — the second of which resulted in a four-point play when Masterson made the shot and the ensuing free throw after being fouled.

With 4:08 remaining in the game, River Ridge was suddenly up 39-30.

Masterson went on to score his team’s final eight points, including two more 3s. He didn’t miss a shot from behind the arc in the fourth quarter, going 4-for-4.

River Ridge came into the game having recently wrapped up a stint of five games over the holiday break. Bohon said several of the games were close, including Friday night’s loss to Cherokee.

When Woodstock closed the gap to two points at the end of the third quarter in Saturday’s game, Bohon feared his team would let this one slip away as well.

“Then we started finding Nick,” Bohon said. “It was one of the few times all year that he was in foul trouble. Some other guys had to step up and play while he was sitting over there with us. When he got back in, he was antsy. When he gets hot, he is going to hit some shots. We did a good job of finding him and setting some screens, and he did a good job of hitting the shots.”

River Ridge jumped to a 13-6 lead in the first quarter as seniors Anthony Odom and Steven Spears both made some key shots.

Woodstock (3-10) picked up its pace in the second quarter, but still trailed 23-15 going into the second half.

In the third quarter, however, the Wolverines closed the gap. Jalen Hannah connected for a couple of shots, including a 3-pointer, while Thomas Carroll, Preston Hurter and Chris Mowery also had key plays.

By the end of the third, Woodstock trailed just 30-28.

Spears and Odom both finished with nine points for River Ridge. Woodstock was led by Mowery’s 11 points.

Both teams face region opponents Tuesday. Woodstock travels to play Lassiter, while River Ridge will be on the road at Pickens.
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