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23-0 second-half run propels Burton past Ridgeview

Kevin Mays • Dec 21, 2019 at 2:36 AM

NORTON — J.I. Burton used a 23-0 run over a span of more than seven minutes Friday to pull away from Ridgeview on the way to a 65-48 nondistrict boys basketball win at Stan Wilson Gymnasium.

Ridgeview’s scoreless stretch covered the final 1:14 of the third quarter and first six minutes of the fourth.

“We didn’t really play great and our brand of basketball until the end of the third and the start of the fourth,” said first-year Burton coach Caleb Church. “Jaymen Buchanan stepped up big for me tonight playing defense. Trevor (Culbertson) played tough. Mikey (Culbertson) and my post guys just started getting physical ... because (Ridgeview) is a big, physical group of guys and they’re going to be pretty solid for the rest of the year.

“I think that was the biggest thing. We started playing physical and our brand of basketball and that’s kind of what got us the win.”

Burton’s play led to 25 Ridgeview turnovers that led to several transition baskets for the Raiders (4-1).

“Once we got our defense rolling, we changed it up a little bit at halftime, and we really got into it at the end of the third going into the fourth and caused those turnovers and that was really the game,” Church noted. “We got into our transition and good things happened.”

The game was close throughout the first half and Burton held a 29-28 advantage at halftime.

A basket by Gabe Brown, who finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, gave Ridgeview a 30-29 lead with 6:56 to play in the third.

The Wolfpack (5-2) held the lead throughout the third quarter, but Burton narrowed it to 44-42 on a bucket by Zac Campbell with four seconds left in the third.

Burton took control in the fourth by scoring the first 21 points of the quarter. Ridgeview did not score until about the two-minute mark, and by that time the damage was done.

“That was a physical game and I thought it was good for both teams going back and forth,” Ridgeview coach Evan McCowan said. “Norton’s a really good team. Athletic, quick.

“I feel like for three quarters we really fought with them there. In the fourth quarter, things really got out of hand both ways there, but I was really proud of my guys tonight. In the fourth quarter they just made that big run and it was just too much for us to overcome.”

Culbertson led a balanced Burton offense with 17 points. Jonah Cochrane finished with 16 and Culbertson had 14.

BATTLE GIRLS WIN

In Friday’s girls game, John Battle (3-4) took a 55-35 win over the host Lady Raiders (0-6).

The Lady Trojans, leading 17-13 after the first quarter, outscored Burton 20-6 in the second to build a 37-19 halftime advantage.

Battle maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

“They came out in a zone (in the second quarter) and we hit four back-to-back-to-back-to-back 3s and that just opened up a can of worms,” said John Battle coach Jeff Adkins. “That’s probably the best we’ve shot in a long time.”

Bethany Smith finished with three of Battle’s 3-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points. Anna McKee added 12 points.

Kaylee Jenkins led the Lady Raiders with 14 points.

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