REDMOND — Shan Hartford stressed to his players at the half Tuesday that they had to start trusting their teammates if Ridgeview was going to snap its skid.
The Class 5A Ravens trailed by 11 points to 6A Willamette, a result, Hartford noted, of Ridgeview not making the extra pass to open shooters.
That halftime pep talk was all the Ravens needed to hear.
In outscoring the Wolverines from Eugene by 24 points in the second half, Ridgeview rallied for a 61-48 nonconference girls basketball win, ending a two-game slide while earning its second win in six games.
“We were off and running” in the second half, said Hartford, the Ravens’ coach. “It was a completely different team in that second half.”
Sparking the Ridgeview (4-8 overall) turnaround was freshman point guard Marley Sargent, who finished with just three points but dished out all 10 of her assists over the final two quarters.
“She made a huge difference,” Hartford said of Sargent. “We have seen it all year in practice, and she just hadn’t had the confidence in herself until something clicked tonight. She played with the confidence at the level we had seen in practice. Tonight, it came out in full force.”
Sargent penetrated the Willamette (5-6) defense seemingly at will, Hartford said, and kicked out to open shooters during a 26-12 Ridgeview third quarter, leading to the final period in which the Ravens outscored Willamette 17-7.
“We got production from everyone on the team tonight,” Hartford said. “We had some people really step up and make fantastic plays.”
Ciara Pinkerton and Ashley Hall each had 14 points for Ridgeview, and Aspen Jeter scored eight.
The Ravens open Intermountain Conference play at home against Bend High on Friday, and they head into their league schedule following three straight 6A opponents.
“I think we’ve really found what our strengths are as a team,” Hartford said. “We were kind of looking for an identity. We had some returning players (from last season), but a lot of them didn’t get a lot of minutes last year. They’ve found their roles, and we’ve found our identity.
Playing tougher opponents has definitely made us a better basketball team, and I’m really excited for league play.”