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Barber cut above for Fulton

Junior scores 37 to key win over Rams

Fulton's Zach Barber drivess around the Riverdale's Josh Lohman during Friday's game in Fulton. The Steamers won 72-58.
Fulton's Zach Barber drivess around the Riverdale's Josh Lohman during Friday's game in Fulton. The Steamers won 72-58.

FULTON – Zach Barber hit his first three shots, all 3-pointers, in the first 3½ minutes. He wound up with a school-record seven 3-pointers.

Barber poured in 37 points, leading Fulton to a 72-58 Three Rivers North win over Riverdale on Friday night at Fulton High School.

Barber was 11-for-17 from the field and 7-for-10 from 3-point range. He was also 8-for-9 from the free-throw line.

"My teammates were doing a really good job setting screens, so I got a lot of open looks, and just knocked them down," Barber said. "That's by far the best game I've had this year. I've been hot lately. I didn't know I scored that many. I thought I was around 20 or so."

Barber's early flurry propelled the Steamers (12-3, 2-0) to an 11-4 start. Matt Dail knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points to help Fulton build a 19-8 lead with just under 2 minutes left in the first quarter.

Dail finished with 16 points, and was 4-for-7 from 3-point range.

"The entire team was excited, because this was only our second home game," Dail said. "We came out hot and pumped up. Zach always comes out hot. We all get pumped up when he starts out hot like that."

Riverdale (4-9, 0-2) sliced the margin to 24-20 just over 2 minutes into the second quarter.

The Steamers answered with a 16-6 tear to go up 40-26 with just over a minute left in the half. Fulton led 44-31 at the break. Barber already had 19 points, and Dail 13.

After scoring 19 points in the first quarter and 25 in the second, the Steamers managed just three in the third. That's because the Rams went to a triangle-and-two defense that stymied Fulton ... for a while.

Riverdale made it a two-point game at 47-45 on James Turkal's 3-pointer with 7:04 to play.

The Steamers responded with an 8-0 spurt in just over a minute. Dail got things going with a 3-pointer. Seth Sanderson, who scored 10 points, drove for a bucket, and Barber turned a steal into a three-point play to make it 55-45 with 5:56 remaining.

Fulton put the game away with a 10-0 run that included seven more points from Barber, who scored 15 points in the fourth quarter. That made it 65-49 with 2:43 left.

"We came out about as good as we have all year," Steamers coach R.J. Coffey said. "We were playing really fast. We were finding our shooters in good spots, and they were knocking shots down."

The Rams got 20 points from Cole Solomon, 13 from Jake Gellerstedt, and 10 from Turkal.

Both teams filled it up from 3-point range. Fulton was 11-for-20 from deep, including 8-for-12 in the first half. Riverdale was 8-for-16.

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