Ridge View opens the Region 4-4A basketball season tonight with a doubleheader at Dutch Fork.
The Blazers girls, by far, have the toughest challenge on tap. Ridge View is off to a 3-0 start and is averaging an eye-opening 85 points a game. Elizabeth Styles, Nikia Squire and Alexus Jackson have been the big guns so far. Styles is averaging 16.0 points and is shooting 69% from the floor. Squire and Martin are both at 14.3 ppg. Like Styles, Squire and Jackson are shooting better than 60% from the field. Victoria Marshall (7.3 ppg, 7.2 assists per game) and Bethany Haigler (6.3 rebounds) are also making significant contributions in the early going.
Dutch Fork is also unbeaten, winning all six outings to date, including a 2-0 championship performance at the South Carolina vs. Georgia preseason challenge. Alaina Coates (18.8 ppg, 12.5 rpg) and Donnesha Shuler (18.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 apg) are the Silver Foxes stars.
In the boys nightcap, Ridge View (4-2) enters region play after salvaging a split against blue-chip competition last weekend at its own Palmetto Basketball Challenge. The Blazers, who fell 104-72 to No. 1 in the nation Oak Hill Academy on Friday, bounced back on Saturday at hand Mooreville (NC) it first loss of the season, 90-84.
“Coming off a high energy game (Oak Hill), I thought we did a great job of coming ready to play a really good team in Mooresville less than 24 hours later,” said coach John Combs.
“We did give up way too many offensive rebounds and that does concern me, but our team defense did a good job at the very end of the game getting stops when we had to have them. We need to use these two games as a springboard to help us get better as we head into region play.”
It was a nip-and-tuck affair from start to finish, and was decided in the final 20 seconds when Blazers senior Trent Dickerson went 4-for-4 at the free-throw line. Jared Johnson led the way with 27 points, Cameron Lee tallied 25, Jamaal Brantley added 16 and Stephen Rembert had a team high seven rebounds.
The Silver Foxes are off to a rough start, winning just once in eight tries.