No. 11 Cards put away Hornets in fourth quarter

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

No. 11 seed Woodland used a strong fourth quarter to take the consolation title from eighth-seeded Advance 71-63 at the seMissourian Christmas Tournament on Monday.

Jared Ritter was untouchable early for the Hornets, but his stroke couldn't carry Advance for all four quarters against their Stoddard County Conference rivals.

"I wasn't all that happy with the No. 11 seed, but we didn't come in and gripe about it," Woodland coach Ted Hahn said. "Our boys played hard and proved that we deserved to be ranked higher."

Ritter started the game with a deuce from the right corner and forced a steal that put Advance (5-4) up by five quickly. The Hornets, who beat Woodland 67-52 for the Woodland Tournament championship earlier this month, continued to run away early, and another Ritter 3-pointer gave them a 17-9 lead.

Alex VanGennip helped keep the Cardinals (7-5) within range early as he nearly matched Ritter point-for-point with 10 first-quarter points. Ritter had 13 in the first.

Woodland came charging back in the second and took the lead for the first time at 27-25 on Cody McCraw's basket two minutes from halftime. Advance held on to lead by two at the break, then stretched it to 10 points in the third before Woodland made its final game-winning run.

"We just picked up our defense and forced some turnovers there in the fourth," Hahn said.

McCraw gave Woodland its second lead of the game with a steal and a layup early in the fourth, where the Cardinals outscored Advance 21-10.

Hudson converted a free throw to tie the game in the final six minutes for the final points Advance would score for the next 2 1/2 minutes.

A McCraw 3-pointer put Woodland ahead for the final time with 4:24 remaining.

McCraw scored 23 points to lead the Cardinals. VanGennip had 16 and Luke Johnson 13.

Ritter scored a game-high 26 points for Advance. Zack Kelley scored 14 points, and Jason Bahr added 12.

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