Ridge View clinched the No. 1 state playoff seed out of Region 4-4A with its 84-67 win over neighboring Blythewood on Saturday while the rest of the conference was sitting at home admiring the snow that blanketed the state over night.
The Blazers closed the regular season with a 14-11 overall record and an 8-2 region grade. Ridge View’s claim to the outright title will be confirmed or denied on Monday when Lancaster (7-2) takes on Spring Valley. No matter the outcome, RV can claim back-to-back boys basketball region titles (shared or otherwise) for the first time in school history.
“I was extremely happy with the way we played against a real good Blythewood team,” said coach John Combs.
“Our team defense once again did a good job of disrupting our opponent. Jamaal Brantley had his best game of his career finishing some tough shots around the basket. Jamal needs to give a lot of credit to the other guys for being unselfish and giving him the ball in a great position to score.
“I am real happy for our seniors to close the regular season with win and at least a share of another region championship. Mike Green had another really good game scoring in double figures and blocking everything that comes near him. Senior Jamar Gillespie played great again and I think should be a strong candidate for the North-South All-Star game. Junior Jamie Portee has done a solid job of being our primary point guard and moving the ball around, but at the same time providing a scoring punch when we need it.
“While winning a region championship is a special accomplishment, we have bigger challenges and goals we would still like to achieve this year. The senior group we have this year is special and I hope they realize if they dig down deep, focus, and continue to work hard that this team can really do some special things in the playoffs, but at the same time one bad game now and their high school careers are over.”
Brantley led the way with a career high 18 points, while Jamar Gillespie (16), Portee, Green (15) and Jared Johnson (10) all provided double-digit backing.
Corey Miller (12 points), Carlton Williams (11) and Chris Brown (10) were the Bengals scoring leaders.
Ridge View now boasts a 9-1 all-time record vs. Blythewood.
The Blazers open the Class 4A state playoff Wednesday at home against the No. 4 seed out of Region 3-4A.
The Ridge View girls closed the regular season with a 17-5 overall record and an 8-2 region mark behind champion Spring Valley. The Blazers, who thumped Blythewood 67-31 on Saturday in the regular season finale, host the Region 3-4A No. 3 seed in the first round of the state playoff on Tuesday.