Irmo saw its Region 4-4A boys basketball lead increase to two and a half on Friday. The Yellow Jackets stayed unbeaten in region action with a 66-37 rout of Blythewood, while Ridge View continued the recent woes of Richland Northeast by scoring a 67-63 overtime win on the Cavaliers home floor.
The Jackets (19-2) rolled over the Bengals with a typically balanced offensive performance. Jordan Roper led the way with 14 points and Dominic Shuler was the other double digit man with 10. Jeremy Clinkscales, Sam Amedee and Justin McKie all contributed eight points to the cause. Jerry Bowers led Blythewood (8-11) with 10 points.
Jared Johnson saved Ridge View from defeated by swishing a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into OT. Johnson took the inbounds pass with five seconds remaining, sped up the floor and let fly. The Blazers secured the win by going 6-for-7 at the line in the extra session.
Johnson had an outstanding all around game with 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Jamaal Brantley was key as well with 18 points, eight boards and five steals. Cameron Lee had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Jamie Portee scored all 13 of his points in the second half.
“This was a huge win to beat a really good team like RNE in their gym,” said RV coach John Combs. “It has been a few years since we won at RNE and do so having to come back and with two guys out with injuries makes it a little more rewarding. Last week Blythewood sent our game in overtime by banking in a three at the end of regulation—so I guess the basketball gods paid us one back.”
Travis Hammonds tallied a game high 21 points for RNE, Mike Murphy added 14 and for Blazer Kelvin Cruse scored 10.
The Cavaliers (13-7) have dropped two of their last three region outings, but are still very much in the championship hunt. The reason is RNE has yet to play Irmo. The first confrontation is on Tuesday at RNE. A Cavalier win sets up a title showdown on Feb. 9 at Irmo. The Yellow Jackets, who are riding a nine-game winning streak, can essentially wrap up the championship with a win.
Region 4-4A boys standings
Irmo 8-0, Richland NE 5-2, Spring Valley 5-3, Ridge View 5-4, Blythewood 3-5, Dutch Fork 3-6, Lugoff-Elgin 0-9.