Cardinal Ritter College Prep knows there is a long road ahead of their squad. Sitting on the opposite side of the bracket from the Lou’s most dominating team, Vashon High, they know paths may inevitably meet.
It’s going to take more than just their top guys to find a way to win at the big house on Cass Ave.
Stand out Mario Fleming is leading the team averaging 13.6 points a game while Malik Davis is right behind him with 13.4. Gary Clark enters the game with 12.7 points per game but his defensive skills of averaging 10.4 boards a game has helped the Lions get where they are today.
And that place is a run at the district title.
The second seeded Cardinal Ritter Lions squared up against Metro for their first game of the postseason, and it wasn’t pretty. Ritter went on a 12-2 run to open the game and never looked back.
Ritter coach Ryan Johnson saw an opportunity to utilize his full roster on his own terms, something that doesn’t happen too often in the postseason. Point totals were even across the board for the Lions and Freshman and Sophomores found time to shine and hone their skills.
Skills they may, ahem, will need very soon.
Freshman Luther Burden scored 10 points and went 2-3 from outside the arc and only his second time hitting double digits this season. Junior Glenn Valentine, who has been utilized often in the season off the bench, grabbed himself 11 points in the 89-40 win against the Metro Cougars.
The lions will face St. Louis College Prep on Wednesday, yet all signs point to Ritter reaching the district finals against Vashon. While upsets are common this time of year, it’s hard to imagine a situation where we don’t see two of the best teams from the city proper battle it out.
Expect a packed house if Cardinal Ritter continues their district run and finds themselves in a spot to make history.