BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
Brad Ridenour didn’t want to comment on the officials after the game, and I don’t blame him.
His Father Lopez girls basketball team beat P.K. Yonge 62-60 Feb. 12, to head to the regional finals of the Class 3A playoffs.
In a game with 44 fouls (24 against Father Lopez), there were times it seemed the Green Wave would win easily, like when Shannon Cranshaw’s 15 points, two assists and two steals, at half, had the Green Wave up 27-16.
But Cranshaw never saw the fourth quarter. She picked up two fouls, neither of which I’d compliment the ref on making, in the last 1:07 of the third quarter. She left the court in shock.
It could’ve been the last time she walked off that court, ending a career that saw her score more than 2,000 points.
So she sat on the bench, powerless, and watched her teammates try to hold a 13-point lead she helped build.
But soon, just 1:57 into the fourth quarter, after having missed most of the third quarter with four fouls, Simone Brown took a seat next to Cranshaw, after she picked up her fifth foul on a charge, which from 15 feet away, looked like a no-call, with almost no contact.
You should’ve seen the look on Brown’s face.
So, with Ridenour’s two primary ball-handlers out, he turned to Ashley Folsom to take over. And she wouldn’t disappoint, scoring 12 second-half points.
He also put Lexie McMullin, who he said hadn’t played much all season, in the game to be another player in an unfamiliar role.
But P.K. Yonge came roaring back.
Despite Folsom’s effort, another 11 combined second-half points from Chandler Ferguson and April Panaggio, and two big baskets from McMullin, the game was within three points in its final minute.
“I’m telling you right now,” Ridenour said,” I’m so proud of these girls for surviving,” he said. “That was big.”