High School Basketball

Back-to-back! Ridge View dominates on way to second straight Class 4A title

Watch: Ridge View boys celebrate second straight 4A title

Ridge View defeated Wilson, 65-52, to win Class 4A championship on March 2, 2019
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Ridge View defeated Wilson, 65-52, to win Class 4A championship on March 2, 2019

Ridge View guard Walyn Napper had a few last words before coming out of the tunnel before Saturday’s Class 4A championship game

“Time to go out with a bang,” Napper said.

The senior guard and his Ridge View teammates did just that. The Blazers put on a dominating performance with several dunks and highlights in defeating Wilson 65-52 on Saturday to win the Class 4A championship at Colonial Life Arena.

It was Ridge View’s second straight state title and an even more impressive run through the playoffs than last year. After losing its regular season finale at the buzzer to rival Westwood, the Blazers mowed their way through the competition in the postseason.

Ridge View came into the game with an average margin of victory of 37.2 points in its first four playoffs games.

“I think we had to get refocused,” Ridge View coach Yerrick Stoneman said. “The Westwood game even though it was a great game we didn’t play our best especially at the end. Our kids got refocused. You could tell it was tournament time especially with guys like Walyn, Malcolm Wilson, Javon Anderson and Crosby Harris-James. You could tell there was a different look in their eyes.”

Napper led the Blazers with 16 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds. Cincere Scott and Ja’Von Benson each added 14. Benson also had 10 rebounds.

Saturday’s game was a rematch of last year’s title game won by Ridge View, 74-70, with a strong defensive stand in the end. But the Blazers took control of this one late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter.

Ridge View went on an 18-5 run during that stretch and never looked back.

“I’m truly blessed. We have been doubted our whole career at Ridge View and my whole career,” Napper said. “To tell me I was going to be a state champion back-to-back when I was a freshman I wouldn’t believe it. It was truly special.”

The Blazers’ win was capped by an appearance by senior Xavior Major, who has autism. The forward scored a basket with less than a minute left in the game.

Darius Boatwright led Wilson with 17 points.

W: Darius Boatwright 17, Allen Williamson 12, Gibson 7, Brackett 8, Butler 3, Brown 2, Ballentine 3. RV: Ja’Von Benson 14, Wilson 2, Harris-James 4, Walyn Napper 16, Cincere Scott 14, Rice 3, Jenkins 2, Anderson 8, Major 2.

Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The State and Island Packet. He has covered high school sports in South Carolina for 16 years and is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.