Knights’ leader eyeing playoffs
by Chris Byess
January 13, 2013 01:14 AM | 2130 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In its three years of playing a varsity schedule, River Ridge’s boys basketball team has never made the state playoffs.

If junior guard Nick Masterson has his way, that will change this year.

Having just scored his 1,000th career point Jan. 5 against Cherokee, Masterson is the most prolific scorer in Knights history. With a career average of close to 16 points per game, Masterson has also led River Ridge in scoring since joining the program as a freshman.

While satisfied with his overall numbers, Masterson said that he wants one thing more than anything else — a postseason berth.

“It would mean more than anything to me,” he said. “Especially since I would be a part of the first class to do it. It kills me that we haven’t made it to state yet.”

If the Knights are to keep their dream of making the playoffs alive, they will need Masterson to be in top form. With averages of 16.5 points and close to six rebounds, he leads River Ridge in both categories.

As far as scoring points is concerned, coach Matt Bohon believes Masterson may be the best player the Knights’ have ever seen.

“In terms of scoring, he is definitely No. 1,” Bohon said. “He’s arguably the best player we’ve ever had.”

Masterson, who says he has worked hard to improve his presence in the post, is known primarily for his long-range shooting ability. He currently leads the team in 3-point shooting percentage at 35 percent, as well as in the total number of 3s scored.

“On the court, he is an excellent shooter,” Bohon said. “As time has gone on, he has added other parts to his game, but he first came in as a shooter.”

Bohon and the Knights not only rely on Masterson to hit shots from long range, but to also give them an offensive spark should they need it.

“If we struggle, our kids know to get him the ball, and he knows it is his job to score,” Bohon said. “He really understands what role he is in and how he fits in.”

Unfortunately for Masterson, he was forced to exit River Ridge’s game against Gilmer on Friday with an injury to his right shoulder, on the arm uses to release his shot. He believes the issue comes from a partial tear in one of his muscles, and he could be out of action for one to three weeks.

“It is killing me to be out,” Masterson said. “I’m more than eager to get back out there. I just have to realize that missing a game or two is better than missing more in the future.”

If Masterson has his way, he will be back in time to help River Ridge finish off its regular-season schedule and make its push for a spot in the playoffs.

“Making the state playoffs is my No. 1 goal,” Masterson said. “I’d do anything to get there. I won’t be denied.”
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