Mariah Ruff probably wishes she could play Kingston every Saturday.
For the second straight Saturday, Mariah Ruff scored 25 points to lead Oneonta High’s girls to a seven-point non-league basketball win over visiting Kingston – most recently by a 46-39 count.
“They’re extremely athletic,” said OHS coach Matt Miller, whose team traveled to Kingston last Saturday and earned a 48-41 win. “I haven’t seen a team one through five as athletic as they are. They’re a scrappy defensive team. They’re similar to how we’re made up. I knew it was going to be a low scoring game.”
Miller said Ruff’s penchant for putting up big offensive numbers in low-scoring games will be big as the season progresses.
“That’s going to be really important,” Miller said of Ruff’s scoring. “Defensively, we can hang around with any Class B teams in New York state. The ace in our pocket is that Mariah can generate offense. If teams adjust to that, she’s also a great passer.”
Brittney Herrick contributed eight points and 18 rebounds for the Yellowjackets (12-1), who received four key points from Gabby Richardson late in the fourth quarter.
Kingston closed to three points with about two minutes left in the fourth quarter when OHS’ Brieanna Baker was fouled. Baker was shaken up on the play and could not take the free throws. Miller called on Richardson – an 80 percent free throw shooter – to take the shots. Richardson missed the first but made the second to give OHS a four-point lead.
On Oneonta’s next possession, Richardson hit a three-pointer from the corner to extend the Yellowjackets’ lead to seven.
“She scored four points off the bench and they were huge,” Miller said.
Ruff, Madison Miller and Meg Burns all had seven rebounds for the Yellowjackets, who’ll travel to Chenango Valley on Friday. The teams met Dec. 11 and OHS escaped with a 53-51 victory at home.