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Weathering the storm
River Ridge girls withstand third-quarter scare from Cassville
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Cassville's Andrea Okey finds herself sandwiched between River Ridge defenders Emma Mergen and Roni Zinkle during last Thursday night's Six Rivers West conference contest. The Timberwolves outscored the Comets, 13-1, in the fourth quarter to collect a 47-31 victory.


PATCH GROVE – River Ridge senior Roni Zinkle knocked down six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 20 points to lift the host Timberwolves past visiting Cassville last Thursday night in a Six Rivers West conference girls’ basketball game.

With junior sensation Bridgette Myers in foul trouble most of the night, it was Zinkle who stepped up and led River Ridge to a Six Rivers West record of 3-1 and an overall mark of 10-2.

With the loss, coach Martin Kirschbaum’s Comets fell to 0-4 in league play and 3-7 overall.

Though the Timberwolves finished the night with a 16-point victory, things were a lot tighter earlier in the game than anyone expected.

After taking a 28-16 lead into the locker room at the half, River Ridge was outscored 14-6 in the third quarter, and held just a four-point edge (34-30) going into the fourth.

At the head of Cassville’s third-quarter scoring explosion was junior guard Andrea Okey, who netted 12 of her team’s 14 points, after being held to just two points in the first half.

Coach Caron Townsend’s squad then turned up the defensive pressure in the fourth quarter, and with an 8-0 scoring run, extended their lead to 42-30 with just over four minutes to play in the game.

The Timberwolves ended up out-scoring the Comets, 13-1 in the fourth quarter, with Cassville’s only points coming on a made free throw by Okey.

“Our ladies fought hard to get back into the game, but the Wolves’ defense just wore us down in the end,” said Martin Kirschbaum.

“That is a typical Caron Townsend coached team, the defensive pressure never ends, and that is what makes them so tough to beat,” Kirschbaum added.

While Zinkle led all scorers with 20 points, teammates Amber Patterson added 11 and Bridgette Myers and Johanna Allen each finished with six.

Patterson and Zinkle each pulled down seven of their team’s 24 rebounds, while Myers dished out a team-high seven assists and had six of her team’s 17 steals.

On the night, River Ridge made 20-of-44 (45%) field goal attempts, including 6-of-18 (33%) from 3-point range. The Timberwolves wee 1-of-9 (11%) from the free throw line and committed 12 turnovers.

Okey led the Comets with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three steals, while Kennedy McMillian added seven points, and Ally Clauer two points, six rebounds and three assists.

River Ridge 47, Cassville 31
(from Thursday, Jan. 8)
Cassville           5    11    14    1 - 31
River Ridge    17    11    6    13 - 47
- Ally Clauer 2, Maddie Nix 3, Destiny Cederquist 2, Andrea Okey 15, Kennedy McMillian 7, Paige Johll 2. Totals - 10 9-12 31.
River Ridge - Bridgette Myers 6, Roni Zinkle 20, Emma Mergen 2, Michelle Cliff 2, Amber Patterson 11, Johanna Allen 6. Totals - 20 1-9 47.
3-point goals - C: Okey 2; RR: Zinkle 6. Team fouls - C 8, RR 11. Fouled out - None.