Richland Northeast had what could prove to be a costly stumble in Region 4-4A boys basketball on Tuesday. The Cavaliers dropped a 51-46 home game to Dutch Fork that dropped them two games behind front-running Irmo.
The stunning verdict not only took the championship showdown implication away from Wednesday’s Irmo-RNE game, but the Cavaliers must now guard against their grip losing second place (and a first-round state playoff home date).
Dutch Fork, meanwhile, kept pace with Blythewood in chase for fifth place and the region’s last playoff invitation.
Errick Bethel scored 15 and Chad Jeter contributed 12 to the Silver Foxes cause. Travis Hammonds tallied a game-high 21 points and Ryan Quarles posted 12 but it was not nearly enough to help RNE avoid the shocking setback.
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Elsewhere, red-hot Ridge View crushed Lugoff-Elgin 78-48 and Blythewood remained in the postseason hunt with a 65-54 win over Spring Valley.
Ridge View (15-7, 7-4) got off to a slow start at Lugoff-Elgin, but restored order with a 25-15 run in the second quarter and put it away with a 23-10 burst in the third. Seniors Blake Taylor (14 points), Jamaal Brantley (12) and Cameron Lee (10) paced the Blazers, who have won five in a row in region play. Ridge View held Jo Jo Pelligrino to just seven points in the rematch after the Demons junior rang up 40 points in the first meeting. Zach Salmond and Darius Custard scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for L-E which finished its first season at the Class 4A level with a 4-17 overall record and a 1-11 region mark.
“We did not get off to a very good start, but I think our team depth wore them down some,” said RV coach John Combs. “I really like our balanced scoring attack. We don't depend on anyone one guy scoring some large number of points for us to win. We have a number of guys capable of having big nights.”
The surging Blazers close out the season on Friday against Blythewood and still have a chance at securing second place in the final region tabulations. To do so, Ridge View must beat Blythewood on Friday, and hope RN loses both of its remaining games. If the teams tie for second place, the Cavaliers would have the tie-breaking edge because it is the only team to beat Irmo so far. There will be no tie-breaking, seed-setting games after the region season is completed.
Demar Hall posted 21 points, P.J. Harris scored 19 and Avery Johnson chipped in 11 for Blythewood (9-13, 4-7). Jonathan Garrett scored 22 points for the suddenly slumping Vikings, but he had no double-figure support. SV (11-11, 6-5) has already clinched fourth place and a playoff spot, but has lost three of its last four games.
Region 4-4A boys standings
Irmo 9-1, Richland NE 7-3, Ridge View 7-4, Spring Valley 6-5, Blythewood 4-7, Dutch Fork 4-7, Lugoff-Elgin 1-11.