After defeating Irmo last month, Ridge View coach John Combs knew a sweep in the series wasn’t going to be easy.
Turns out he was right.
Tavonne Bond scored 19 points and hit a pair of big free throws late in the fourth quarter as the Yellow Jackets held off a late Ridge View comeback for a 71-64 win Tuesday in a matchup of top-five teams in Class 4A.
“It is always nice to win a game against a quality opponent,” Irmo coach Tim Whipple said. “We have had a few close games, but this is the first one where it came down to having to make free throws, good decisions and we did that. We need to have some confidence, and this will help us down the road.”
Ridge View, which has never swept a season series from the Yellow Jackets, defeated Irmo 65-54 on Dec. 8 behind strong outside shooting and a big game from Kaiden Rice.
Rice started strong again for the Blazers (8-2) by scoring 13 of the team’s 17 points as Ridge View led 17-16 after the first quarter. But Bond got hot in the second quarter, and hit three 3-pointers as the Yellow Jackets (9-4, 1-0) outscored the Blazers 20-6 to lead 36-23 at halftime.
The Yellow Jackets hit 10-of-23 3-pointers in the game.
Irmo maintained a sizable lead for much of the second half and led 59-50 with 3:01 left. But Rice hit a 3-pointer and Cainan Griffin converted on a layup to cut Irmo’s lead to 61-57 with 1:38 left. Griffin scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half.
The Blazers got within 66-64 on Justine Alewine’s 3-pointer. Bond, however, hit two free throws with 13.5 seconds left to give the Yellow Jackets a 68-64 lead. Irmo was 11-of-15 from the free-throw line for the game.
“I think in that stretch in the third quarter where we were able to maintain the lead, that’s what won the game for us because we were able to withstand the end,” Whipple said. “Had we not done that in the third quarter, we would have been in trouble.”
R.J. Gunn added 16 points and Dre’von Sweat added 12 for Irmo.
Rice led Ridge View with 21 points.
“We gave ourselves an opportunity to make the game competitive and close late. But Irmo doesn’t blow many leads. Give them credit, they made the free throws and plays down the stretch where we couldn’t come back,” Combs said.
Ridge View begins region play Friday at home against Westwood. Irmo is at White Knoll on Friday and Dutch Fork on Saturday.
I: Tavonne Bond 19, R.J. Gunn 16, Dre’von Sweat 12, Jenkins 8, Rice 6, Wilson 4, Edwards 4, Hill 2. RV: Kaiden Rice 21, Cainan Griffin 20, Justine Alewine 10, Fleming 4, Lewis 2, Corley 4, Coatie 5.
Ridge View 55, Irmo 27
Armanii Grice scored 13 of her game-high 20 points in the second half as the Blazers swept the season series from Irmo.
Ridge View led by double figures in the third quarter before Irmo cut it down to five points. The Blazers put the game away with an 18-0 run in the fourth quarter.
I: Scott 5, Stanton 2, Carter 3, Fant 6, Courtney Evans 11. RV: Genell Addison 12, Armanii Grice 20, Tisdale 8, Anderson 2, Gainey 2, Whitmore 1, Mckeyzia Harts 10.