That might be a tough task considering Norwood now has the services of its top player – senior Jesse Efurd, who didn’t play in the teams’ first meeting (because of an arm injury) on Nov. 30 in which Ridgway prevailed 49-42. Since returning to the lineup about a month ago, Efurd is averaging 15.2 points, including 16 in the team’s 41-37 loss to San Juan Basin League-foe Mancos on Saturday.
Norwood (4-5 overall) has won two of its last three after having opened the season 2-4.
“Their boys are going to be better than they were when we played them the first game of the year,” coach Charles Jones said of Norwood.
Ridgway (4-7) has lost five of its last six, including a 78-42 league-loss at Crested Butte on Friday. The Demons (1-1 league) trailed 52-15 at halftime.
Gabe Kowalsky had nine points, while Jake Coulter and Alex Radovanovic had seven each. Crested Butte’s John Wright scored a game-high 22 points.
“We turned it over too many times and those led to easy points for Crested Butte,” Jones said. “We got down 23-5 and 52-15. In the second half we did a better job of taking care of the ball but it was too late.”
Up next for the Demons is a contest against county- and league-rival Ouray on Friday (8 p.m.). Ouray beat Ridgway three times last year – 48-26 and 85-28 during regular-season action, and then 54-19 in the 1A district tournament.
“Ouray…is very talented and we will have to play very well in order to give ourselves a chance,” Jones said.
Ouray (5-6, 2-0) is coming off a heart-breaking 50-47 overtime loss at Montrose (j.v.) on Saturday night. The Trojans trailed until the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter when they pulled ahead 35-34 with a field goal by Cody Geist. The game went back-and-forth and eventually went into overtime where the Indians scored the game’s final six points after trailing 47-44 with 1:58 to go.
Teddy Sirotek led Ouray with 12 points, followed by Geist, who had 11.
The Trojans’ two league victories this season have come over Edwards Vail Christian and DeBeque on back-to-back nights (Jan. 18-19).
In the first meeting between Ridgway and Ouray last year, Ridgway led only twice, 4-3 and 6-4 in the first quarter, but hung around long enough to keep the game interesting, trailing 20-14 at halftime. However, the Demons couldn’t overcome a 13-2 run by Ouray to start the second half. Ridgway was held to two field goals in the final 10:45 of the contest as Ouray went on to win.
In the rematch, Ouray outscored the Demons 27-7 in the second quarter and closed the first half on a 22-3 run to lead 44-11 en route to the 57-point victory.
After facing Ridgway, Ouray will play host to non-league Norwood on Tuesday, Feb. 5, while Ridgway will travel to league-foes DeBeque (Feb. 8) and Vail Christian (Feb. 9).