Ridge View Blazers handed hard lesson

Short-handed team faces learning curve after 0-2 tourney run

12/21/2012 12:16 AM

12/21/2012 12:26 AM

Ridge View closed its Carolina Challenge Showcase stint at the Chick-fil-A Classic with an 0-2 record after a 67-59 loss to Winston-Salem Prep Academy on Thursday at Richland Northeast.

“We’re in a tough stretch,” Blazers coach John Combs said. “This was our fifth game against high-quality competition in the last seven days and we were missing two starters this week. I think we’ll get something out of the experience heading into our region season, but only if the team takes it the right way. If we respond, learn from the experience, it will be a positive thing.”

It was a game of runs, and the defending Class A state champions from North Carolina had the biggest move of the game — a 19-6 surge that turned a 45-45 deadlock into a 66-51 lead with 2:08 to go.

“We were a little sloppy tonight, but sometimes you have to win ugly,” said Phoenix coach Andre Gould, whose team improved to 7-0 after going 31-1 last season.

Point guard Raekwon Harney, the only senior on the team, was the driving force in the decisive surge — scoring 10 of his 14 points with one assist. All the points came on strong moves to the hole, and the helper was on a kick-out pass that set up a 3-pointer by Aaron Lipscomb.

Ridge View had no answer for Harney.

“When you are not familiar with a team and what it brings to the table, it’s difficult to prepare,” the Blazers coach said. “Obviously, (Harney) is a great player — very fast and a great ball-handler. We had to learn on the fly, but he just did a good job of breaking us down and made some very difficult shots.”

Ridge View (7-3) trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, but was in the hunt until Winston-Salem hopped on Harney’s back down the stretch.

Jordan Portee carried the short-handed Blazers with a game-high 23 points, three assists and five steals. Jarrell Brantley scored 10 points.

Jamal DeShields, who was 6-for-6 from the field, led the Phoenix with 17 points.

Ridge View was without guard Tre’von Howell (flu) and center Jose Roman (ankle). Combs hopes both key seniors will be back in action for the Capital City Classic at Keenan next week.

RV: Bradshaw 2, Jackson 6, Jarrell Brantley 10, Jordan Portee 23, Wages 9, Isaac 2, Halley-Oswell 5. W-S: Raekwon Harney 14, Mike Hughes 11, Roseboro 6, Lipscomb 8, Simons 9, Jamal DeShields 17, Howard 2.

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