NEW PORT RICHEY — River Ridge and Ridgewood had different preseason results, heading into Monday night’s regular-season opener at Anders Court.
The Royal Knights finished 2-0 in the preseason and looked to be a favorite to be tops in Pasco County, while Ridgewood lost several of its top scorers from the 2012-2013 season and had a bit of a shaky couple of tune-up games prior to facing the Royal Knights.
Ridgewood proved to be well prepared, as the Rams received a spark late from sophomore guard Clarence Farria and were able to knock off River Ridge, 58-51. Farria led the Rams with 18 points en route to the victory.
Shooting shots was Farria’s job on the night, as the second-year varsity player hit six of 17 shots from the field, but his two 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter did in what was for the most part, a solid game played by River Ridge (0-1).
River Ridge opened the game on a 13-3 run, but Ridgewood (1-0) eased itself back into the game with timely shots from Farria and Glass Wilson (eight points).
The entire game was dominated by free throw shooting, as the two teams combined for 69 trips to the foul line.
The Rams doubled down on Royal Knights’ 6-foot-10 center John Childs, who scored 18 points and snagged eight rebounds and made it hard for the senior to take over. Ridgewood was able to take a 49-44 lead with 2:32 left in the fourth quarter, after a 3-pointer and assist from Farria to Wilson and the Rams knocked down their free throws to seal the win.