Ridge View opened the boys basketball season with a 70-62 win at Lexington on Tuesday, and travels on Friday to face first-year Westwood.
The win was a gratifying one for the Blazers, who had never won a game on the Wildcats home floor. Moreover, the verdict avenged a 77-52 loss to Lexington at the same site last February that ended Ridge View’s season in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
Lexington entered the game with a 4-0 record while winning the championship of the Lake Murray Invitational preseason tournament.
“Last year our season ended here, so it was good to get a win in an environment that is tough for the visiting teams,” said Blazer coach John Combs. “ Lexington has a great tradition of basketball excellence that extends from their coaches, the players, and their student body that supports their team. We were not particularly sharp executing fundamentally as a whole, but when we needed to make a key defensive play and make crucial baskets our guys found ways to make it happen.”
The Blazers finished the game with a 13-3 run that began when Lexington star Nygel Gates was whistled for a technical foul. RV’s Sterling Jackson’s hit back-to-back 3-pointers during the decisive move.
Jordan Portee (13 points), Jose Roman (12) and Jackson (12) led a balanced Ridge View attack that also featured 8-point games by Jarrell Brantley and Trey Halley-Oswell.
Gates led the Wildcats with 19 points and Mav Bishop chipped in 14.
Lexington has a big game tonight at home against long-time rival Irmo as veteran coaches Bailey Harris and Tim Whipple square off again.
Irmo (4-0) opened the regular season with a 63-43 win over Dutch Fork on Tuesday. The Yellow Jackets went 3-0 to win the Impact Sports Invitational preseason tournament in York.