Kadarus Rone and Jared Worley had 15 and 12 points respectively, but were unable to overcome Cedar Ridge, led by Peyton Pappas’s 24 and Kyle Jones’s 25, losing 63-55 Friday night at Northwood.
The game was back and forth for much of the night until Cedar Ridge went on a 12-4 run with six minutes left in the game to seal the victory. Northwood was unable to slow down Pappas, who hit many shots down the stretch to extend the lead.
“Pappas wasn’t near as good last year; he has gotten a lot better and carries their team,” junior Chaz Bailey said. “We were so focused on stopping Pappas that we allowed number 40 (Jones) to score a lot and Pappas was shooting lights out.”
The Chargers got out to a hot start and led 21-14 early in the second quarter thanks to the play of Rone on offense and a couple of blocks from Bailey. From that point on, it was all Cedar Ridge, as they went on an 11- 5 run to make it 27-26 at the half.
In the second half Northwood’s leader on the court, Ti Pinnix went down with an apparent ankle injury and missed the majority of the second half. The duo of Pappas and Jones went for 14 and 15 in the second half to drive the Red Wolves to victory.
The loss drops the Chargers to 0-3 in conference, which means the Chargers playoff chances are getting slimmer. That’s not the only thing getting slimmer as the Chargers were down to eight men on the bench after Pinnix went down, leaving players fatigued in the second half.
“Everybody has to step up,” head coach Alex Hart said. “Regardless of what we have attached to our name we have gotten much better. We have to play a complete 32 minutes in order to get over the top (and get our first conference win).”
The Chargers basically need to win out in order to guarantee a playoff spot and can only afford one to two more losses. Disregarding those facts, the mission of the team hasn’t changed.
“Our goal hasn’t changed; we are going to put everything into what we are doing, that’s how you build good habits,” Hart said. “We have to stay focused and can’t worry about the future.”
Prior to the two games this week, Northwood had gone on a four-game winning streak but was derailed after a tough loss to J.F. Webb, a game in which they blew a 14-point lead.
“[After the loss to J.F. Webb] I guess our mentalities went back to old habits, I’m going to try to do this myself, I’m not trying to get my teammates involved,” Bailey said. “We have all the talent in the world we just have to get our mind right and play as a team.”
The Chargers play at Northern Vance Friday and face J.M. home Saturday at 7:30.