Dmonte Kinney wasn’t sure his first game-winning three-pointer was going to go in. He hadn’t made a trey all night.
But he found the right time to be the hero.
Trailing 36-34 with :36 remaining, Kinney scored the game-winning basket after an offensive rebound from B.J. Freeman as Cedar Ridge held off Northern Vance 39-36 on Tuesday night at Red Wolves Gymnasium.
Sophomore Terrence Crawford led the Red Wolves with eleven in a defensive struggle. Northern Vance (5-4, 1-1) was held to just 14 points in the first half.
Leading 32-26 going into the fourth quarter, Cedar Ridge couldn’t find the basket in the fourth quarter until the time was right. Leading up to Kinney’s game-winning shot, the Red Wolves only had four points in the opening seven minutes.
Nonetheless, Cedar Ridge earned is now 4-3 overall, 1-1 in Big 8 play. That looks a lot better than last year’s 0-4 in the conference play with a senior-laden team featuring Payton Pappas, the school’s all-time leading scorer.
“We focused tonight on trying to get off to a better start and get a win,” said Cedar Ridge Coach Clay Jones. “We’ve started out playing a lot of games at home. You have to win at home in this conference.”
Kinney finished with seven points, while Khalil Barnett was held to seven.
Jones continues to employ a three-guard lineup, even though none of the backcourt regulars are seniors. Freshman Mekai Collins has started every game.
“I don’t know who’s going to show up each night,” said Jones. “We don’t have what a lot of other people have. We’ve got guys who are going to get six, eight, eleven, ten points. Tonight was Dmonte’s night. He’s been a good defensive presence for us.”
Cedar Ridge will have it’s final game of a eight-game homestand to start the season against Southern Durham on Friday night at Red Wolves Gymnasium. The Red Wolves were the only Big 8 team to defeat the Spartans during the regular season last year.
“I hope they’ve forgotten that part,” said Jones.
CEDAR RIDGE 39, NORTHERN VANCE 36
NORTHERN VANCE: Laquad Holden 3, Malik Glasco 4, Noah Seward 5, Kenton Pettaway 1, Kalin Jackson 4, Jacolby Williamson 4, Thomas Townes 6, Zion Copeland 6, Deiondre Palmer 3.
CEDAR RIDGE: Dmonte Kinney 7, Khalil Barnett 7, Terrence Crawford 11, Tahjai Hill-Wells 4, Mekai Collins 6, Colby Cashaw 2, B.J. Freeman 2.