By Todd Orodenker
Facing the state finalist from last season and dealing with a 6-7 force in the paint, the Ridley Green Raiders had a simple plan Saturday.
They wanted to keep it close. They wanted to have a chance in the final minutes.
Ridley did exactly that. But it didn’t execute enough in those waning minutes, as it fell, 58-54, to La Salle in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA Tournament at Spring-Ford High School. The Green Raiders season ends at 20-7.
“Those shots didn’t fall,’ said Ridley coach Michael Snyder, summing up the stretch run. “We just didn’t make the plays at the end.’
Down seven entering the final period, Ridley cut the deficit to four with 4:58 left after Brett Foster dropped the 16th of his 20 points. It then held La Salle (20-6) without a point on its next three possessions, but Ridley failed to capitalize on each opportunity.
By the time the Green Raiders cut it to one score, there were 30 seconds remaining. La Salle’s Kitt Najee Walls sunk the pressure free throws on two separate occasions. Ridley never had a chance to even tie it.
“They were a good team, it was a tough loss,’ Foster said. “My team played hard, we had a chance to win it.’