Rutherford defense leads way to District 1-5A title win over Bay

basketball
Andrew P Johnson photo
Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 01:09 AM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Rutherford basketball coach Rhondie Ross was told Bay went more than 14 minutes with only a handful of baskets in Saturday’s District 1-5A championship game.

His response was quick.

“They went how long?” Ross said with surprise.

 In truth, there has been little surprising with the Rams’ recent show of defensive dominance spanning more than a month. The latest display was on Saturday, when they defeated the Tornadoes 54-28 to secure Ross’ third straight district title. Rutherford ran its winning streak to 13 games since a Jan. 4 loss while holding the past 12 opponents to fewer than 50 points.

It was the third time in the span the Rams (25-3) held a team to fewer than 30, including both foes in the 1-5A tournament. Rutherford had more offensive intensity on Saturday than in a turnover-plagued 44-23 win over Pensacola West Florida Tech a day earlier. The Rams also forced 20 turnovers for the second straight night.

Ross pointed to the regular-season finale against Fort Walton Beach as the lynchpin in the streak. The Rams won 55-49 against a formidable foe and it showed how well they can shut down a potent offense.

“It was the perfect game to go into the tournament,” Ross said. “We had beaten so many teams by a large margin that I think we got bored and complacent. Good teams will help with that.”



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