2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 2/3/2017 11:42 PM

St. Edward falls to Ridgewood

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By Steve Nichols

The rare one-two punch of Kelvin Cortez-Harvey and AJ Franklin was on display for the second time this week.

Unfortunately for the St. Edward boys basketball team, visiting Ridgewood had one of its own Friday and slipped by St. Edward 61-59 in Metro Suburban action that wasn't shy about lead changes, 20-point scorers or controversy.

A tight game throughout that featured 13 lead changes, four players finished with least 20 points. Cortez-Harvey, who scored 27 against Westmont on Wednesday, dropped a game-high 31 points for the Wave (10-15, 3-5) while Franklin, who had 32 Wednesday, went for 20.

Ridgewood's Zach Rzewnicki led the Rebels (14-8, 6-3) with 27 while Josh Carrasquillo pumped in 23. The tandem went shot-for-shot at times against Franklin and Cortez-Harvey and accounted for 18 of the Rebels' 22 shots and all 16 Rebel points in the fourth quarter. In contrast, the Green Wave duo drained 21 of St. Edward's 24 baskets.

But as far as the controversy goes at Fr. Edward J Seisser Gymnasium, it is certainly debatable.

It came after Carrasquillo missed the front end of a one-and-one with 5.5 seconds left on the clock and Ridgewood leading by the winning score. St. Edward guard Will Gaston grabbed the rebound and pushed his way up the court, spinning to his left to avoid a Ridgewood defender.

Gaston avoided the charge but lost control of the ball in front of the Ridgewood bench, with it going off his hand out of bounds with 1.6 seconds left.

As the Rebels made the subsequent inbound which the Wave knocked out of bounds with 0.9 left, Wave coach PJ White summoned the officials to dispute that Ridgewood had six players on the court prior to the inbound.

"We were counting around and our kids were mixed up because we go, 'wait a minute, we're double-teaming one guy and not guarding the ball out of bounds,'" White said. "And we should still have enough people to guard everybody else but there's one guy flying over and our kid's going back and forth who doesn't know what to do. He chases him to the corner and stops as he runs off."

The extra player for Ridgewood exited the court in the left corner while the official was in motion of handing the ball to the Rebels' inbounder but before the whistle had blown. Having six players on the court would've resulting in a technical foul and 2 free throws for St. Edward and the ball but after two referee huddles, the call stood.

"I'll be honest, initially we came out with six but he immediately got out before the ball was put in," said Ridgewood coach Chris Mroz, whose team shot 44 percent but was outrebounded 27-21. "That's what it was."

"It was an unfortunate error," White added. "We would've shot two free throws and there's a chance we could've tied the game but it was just unfortunate and both teams played very well."

The Wave fell short despite shooting a 46.1 percent clip and having just 4 players score while coughing up just 7 turnovers. They led by as many as 6 at one point in the second quarter and 30-29 at the half but one of Carrasquillo's four 3-pointers came at the third quarter buzzer which gave the Rebels a 3-point lead.

"We fell into that third quarter lull again," Franklin said of the Rebels' 16-12 third quarter advantage. "We were in a zone and when they tried to drive in they'd kick it out and it was really hard to stop them."

A putback by Rzewnicki (9 rebounds) with 3 minutes left gave Ridgewood a 53-47 lead and Cortez-Harvey did everything he could to mount a Wave comeback.

He cut the lead to 3 with 2:45 with a right wing 3 and then cut the Rebels lead to 2 on a 3-point play with 1:25 left. With 45.2 left he drained a fadeaway 3 in the right wing to make it 57-56 but missed the game-tying 3 with 25 seconds left.

"We put ourselves in that position (being down) and we let them go to the hole too much," Cortez-Harvey said of Ridgewood's 11 layups. "We weren't communicating and they were getting open shots at the end. That's what really messed us up."

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