Prairie Ridge boys stop Hampshire

CRYSTAL LAKE – Prairie Ridge spent the first three quarters building leads up to six points only to have Hampshire come right back and tie or cut the lead to one point.

By the fourth quarter, the Wolves had had enough of that. Coming off a six-point, eight-turnover third quarter, Prairie Ridge figured things out.

“We tried to attack them more and get into the middle and drive the lane,” Wolves guard Michael Bradshaw said. “We got to the [free-throw] line and that got us in a rhythm.”

Prairie Ridge pushed the margin to as much as 10 points and held off the Whip-Purs, 53-45, in their Fox Valley Conference crossover boys basketball game Tuesday night.

“We ran better offense [in the fourth quarter],” Wolves coach Corky Card said. “We were moving the ball and driving a little bit more. We’re a very good free-throw shooting team when we get to the line.”

Prairie Ridge (3-2) got 17 points from Bradshaw and 13 from sophomore guard Payton Otto and hit 9 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter.

“In the first half, we took some really quick shots and we didn’t want to do that,” Otto said. “We moved the ball around more and drove to the hole more. We got a little lead and it worked out for us.”

The Wolves made 9 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter with forward Steve Ticknor hitting all four of his attempts.

Hampshire (2-3) made things slightly uncomfortable for the Wolves late when guard Ryan Cork hit his third and fourth 3-pointers to cut the lead to 46-42. The Whips had the ball, but Prairie Ridge was able to make Cork pass on that possession and Hampshire missed.

Hampshire coach Bob Barnett had no trouble pinpointing his team’s downfall.

“It was the same way, and this is why I’m upset at myself, that we started practice yesterday,” Barnett said. “We were lackadaisical, thinking we could just walk in and win on somebody’s home court. Nobody was working on defense.”

The Whips kept battling back, even with Cork having a subpar shooting night. He made his first 3 and his last three 3s to finish with 22 points, but made 1 of 13 field goals in between those 3s.

“It wasn’t my day,” Cork said. “This was probably more in our first five minutes of the game. If we’d have played harder, we’d have had a better game, including myself. I need to shoot better the whole game instead of just the fourth quarter.”