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IowaGrant boys split a pair at River Ridge tournament
Thomas scores career-high 26 in consolation game
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IowaGrant senior Chad Thomas scored a career-high 26 points in the Panthers 8242 win over Weston at last Fridays River Ridge Tournament.

PATCH GROVE — The Weston Eagles had no answer for Iowa–Grant senior Chad Thomas.

Thomas scored a career-high 26 points Friday afternoon to lead the Panthers to a dominating 82–42 victory over winless Weston in the consolation game of the River Ridge Tournament.

While Thomas dominated in the paint, senior point guard Caleb Hill added 17 points and freshman guard Michael Winders scored a career-best 15 points, 13 in the first half, for the winners.

Harrison Boland made five 3-pointers and scored a team-high 17 points to lead Weston, but the Eagles (0–10) never had a chance.

Iowa–Grant (4–3) built a 42–15 halftime lead and was never really challenged in the 40-point blowout.

“We started out strong defensively with a press which created turnovers and we were able to convert those into points to build the early lead,” said I–G head coach Ryan Hill. “We focused on getting the ball inside against their zone, which we did not do against River Ridge, and were able to hit those shots. I also felt that our defensive intensity was much better in game two and we did a much better job at working for better shots against Weston. Our kids were not happy with their performance against River Ridge and wanted to prove they could play better.”

Iowa–Grant was sent to the consolation with a 54–47 opening round loss to tournament host River Ridge earlier in the day. The Timberwolves (4–5) went on to defeat Albany 54–35 in the championship game.

Iowa–Grant had its chances against Ridge and led much of the second half.

A 3-pointer by junior Jackson Vigen gave the Panthers a 43–41 lead with 5:35 remaining, but the T’wolves scored on their next three possessions to take a 47–43 lead with 3:21 left.

Iowa–Grant was forced to foul and River Ridge made 7 of 8 from the line (6 of 6 by freshman Cole Crubel) in the final 1:58 to close out the win.Crubel finished with a game-high 22 points for Ridge.

Hill and Vigen scored 14 points apiece to lead Iowa–Grant.

“We had too many careless turnovers and did not take care of the basketball and also missed eight layups in the first half,” said coach Hill. “Later in the second half when they took the lead we struggled to get the ball inside and when we were able struggled to convert against their zone and settled for long outside shots that were not falling. ”

Iowa–Grant will next host Fennimore Friday before hosting Lancaster Tuesday night.
 
River Ridge Holiday Tournament
River Ridge 54, Iowa–Grant 47

(from Friday, Dec. 30 @ Patch Grove)
Iowa–Grant     24    23     —  47
River Ridge     24    30     —  54
Iowa–Grant (3–3) — Erik Raimer 4, Jackson Vigen 14, Caleb Hill 14, Chad Thomas 7, Michael Winders 7, Charlie Richards 1. Totals — 47.
River Ridge (3–5) — Ben Ertz 6, Ty Bloom 2, Brett Moravits 8, Ryan Redman 3, Cole Crubel 22, Gavin Steiber 13. Totals – 54.
3-point goals — IG: 6 (Hill 2, Vigen 4); RR: 3 (Crubel 2, Moravits 1). Total fouls — IG: 15, RR: 17. Fouled out — none.

River Ridge Holiday Tournament
Iowa–Grant 82, Weston 42

(from Friday, Dec. 30 @ Patch Grove)
Weston            15    27     —  42
Iowa–Grant     42    40     —  82
River Ridge (0–10) — Kaleb Lawrence 8, Tommy Moely 8, Harrison Boland 17, Sebastian Conner-Bauer 3, Matt Jasper 6. Totals – 16-44 42.
Iowa–Grant (4–3) — Jackson Vigen 8, Payton Simon 3, Gerrit Hunt 2, Caleb Hill 17, Chad Thomas 26, Michael Winders 15, Drew Johnson 4, Will Spurley 2. Totals — 82.
3-point goals — W: 7; IG: . Total fouls — W: 10 (Lawrence 2, Boland 5, Conner-Bauer 1, Jasper 2); IG: 2 (Vigen 1, Winders 1). Fouled out — none.