The boys basketball clash between Blue Ridge and Woodberry Forest Tuesday night was the first time since they were born that twins Ryan and Hunter Etheridge played against each other in a game that counted. Ever.
Predictably, their mother Wendy hated every minute of it.
Ryan, a Blue Ridge senior and Hunter, a Woodberry senior, had squared off when the two schools scrimmaged in football but never when it counted until Tuesday.
When the dust settled, it was Hunter that moved to 1-0 all time as Woodberry Forest picked up a 55-40 victory over Blue Ridge, the Tigers’ second win in a row after a narrow victory over St. Christopher’s a week ago.
“It was kind of weird going up against him in a competitive setting besides the back yard,” Hunter Etheridge said. “It was different, but it was fun.”
Woodberry built a 28-17 halftime lead on the strength of Sacha Killeya-Jones’ six-point first quarter despite the Tigers missing a number of open lay-ups in the second quarter.
“I think finally we were more aggressive like we would like them to be and even though we didn’t finish the fact that we were getting those shots i something to build on,” said second year Woodberry coach Craig Dawson.
The Tigers stayed on the boards and battled defensively to keep Blue Ridge at arm’s length, then extended that halftime advantage by 12 points in the third quarter. Lester Coleman, Greer Martini and Hunter Etheridge combined for 14 of those points as the Tigers found strength in a balanced offense with Killeya-Jones’ production slowing down after the first quarter. Martini’s work on the boards and in the paint was particularly crucial.
“I thought he played really well on both ends,” Dawson said. “I thought he did a good job of guarding (Affana Offor) for the other team and giving us a spark on the offensive end as well.”
A.J. Austin chipped in eight points for the Tigers to go with Martini’s 10 and Coleman’s eight on the night. Juan Porta led Blue Ridge with 11 points while Noah Brooks had eight on the night.
The Etheridge twins, who were both standout football players for their respective schools over the last two years, got in a little banter throughout the game, most notably when Ryan hit a crafty spinning lay-up in the lane near the end of the game. Hunter indicated from the sideline that it should’ve been called a travel.
“I was just messing with him, that was a good play,” Hunter Etheridge said. “We’re always messing with each other and I was just playing around.”
Hunter Etheridge may have finished with just six points to Ryan’s nine, but he earned a far greater victory, one that any one with a brother can understand.
“He’s going to hear about it the rest of my life if this is the last time,” Hunter Etheridge said.