MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM GAME OF THE WEEK (Nov. 25–Dec. 2)
GIRLS BASKETBALL: River Ridge 46, Fennimore 45
PATCH GROVE — River Ridge senior Faith Webb played the role of heroin in Saturday night's non-conference season opener.
Webb corralled a tipped rebound from teammate Ruby Breuer and knocked down a 15-foot jumper from the left wing as time expired to lift the host Timberwolves to a dramatic 46–45 victory over Fennimore in the debut for first-year Ridge head coach Veronica Zinkle.
The visiting Golden Eagles certainly had their chances to win. They built 10-point halftime lead and were up four with 20 seconds to play, but Fennimore missed eight straight free throws in the final three minutes before River Ridge's thrilling comeback.
“I was really proud of how we played,” said Fennimore head coach Kevin Everson. “We put in a new offense this year and the girls did a great job of running it. Like I told the girls after the game, we played well and should have won that game. We allowed a few too many offensive rebounds and going 6 of 22 from the free throw line was our Achilles heel. We need to be much better from the free throw line and cleaning up the glass. We did a great job of taking care of the ball on our last few possessions, we just couldn’t convert our free throws or get that one big stop to get us some breathing room,” said Everson.
Fennimore lead 45–41 with 20 seconds left, when Shayna Graf hit her third 3-pointer of the night to cut the lead to one.
The Eagles inbounded to senior Claire Faulkner, who was immediately fouled. She missed both free throw attempts and Ridge had a final chance to steal the win.
Fennimore forced Ruby Breuer into a miss on the right block with about five seconds left, but Breuer tipped the loose ball rebound in the middle of the lane out to Webb, who made the game-winning shot at buzzer from the left wing, free throw line extended.
Webb finished with six points and four rebounds, while Breuer led the way with a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds. Graf finished with 13 points and three steals, and made 3 of 6 3-point attempts. Glenna Marshall added seven points, six rebounds an two assists for the Timberwolves (1–0).
Fennimore (0–1) battled foul trouble most of the game, but still managed to build a 30–20 halftime lead despite senior starters Claire Faulkner and Drehya Dresen sitting the final three minutes of the first half with two fouls.
Fellow senior Brynlee Nelson, a two-time first-team All-SWAL selection, also had two fouls in the first half, then picked up fouls three and four on reach-in fouls early in the second half and had to go to the bench.
Nelson went back in with eight minutes to play, but fouled out just a minute later on a loose ball rebound play. Nelson finished with nine point, seven rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes of play. Junior Delanee Klaas led Fennimore with a team-high 11 points on 5 of 12 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end.
Junior Kyleigh Dresen chipped in nine points and four rebounds, while Faulkner finished with eight points, six boards and two assists. Dreyha Dresen had four points and three rebounds, and freshman Bracey Nelson contributed four points, three rebounds and two assists in her varsity debut.
River Ridge was scheduled to travel to Potosi/Cassville Friday night, but the game has been postponed due to COVID-related issues. Tuesday's non-conference game at Seneca has also been postponed. The Timberwolves hope to return Dec. 14 at home against Shullsburg.
Fennimore traveled to Shullsburg on Tuesday. Friday’s home game with Southwestern has been postponed due to COVID issues at Southwestern, so the Golden Eagles will next travel to Prairie du Chien Saturday for a non-conference game before traveling to Belmont Monday night.
River Ridge 46, Fennimore 45
(from Saturday, Nov. 28 @ Patch Grove)
Fennimore 30 15 — 45
River Ridge 20 26 — 46
Fennimore (0–1) — Delanee Klaas 11, Drehya Dresen 4, Brynlee Nelson 9, Kyleigh Dresen 9, Claire Faulkner 8, Braycee Nelson 4. Totals — 18-43 6-22 45.
River Ridge (1–0) — Payton Millin 3, Ruby Breuer 16, Glenna Marshall 7, Shayna Graf 13, Faith Webb 6. Totals — 16-43 10-18 46.
3-point goals — F: 3-12 (Brynlee Nelson 1, K. Dresen 2), RR: 4-18 (Marshall 1, Graf 3). Total fouls — F: n/a, R: n/a. Fouled out — F: Brynlee Nelson.