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Blocked Shot At Buzzer Preserves Ridge View's Historic Win Over Wilson, 74-70 As Blazers Win School's First Ever AAAA Boy's Championship (With Photo Gallery)

Blocked Shot At Buzzer Preserves Ridge View’s History Win Over Wilson 74-70 As Blazers Win School’s First Ever AAAA Boy’s Championship  

By Chris Dearing

Special Contributor

Columbia--In the biggest moment in Ridge View’s basketball history, it took the biggest player in school history to save the day in the AAAA boy’s basketball state finals against Wilson..

Malcolm Wilson, the Blazer’s 6-foot-11 junior center, blocked a potential game-tying three-pointer with two seconds remaining to preserve a thrilling 74-70 victory over Wilson Saturday night in Class AAAA state championship. That allowed Ridge View to claim it’s first-ever basketball state championship.

“I don’t know if it’s even sunk in yet,” Wilson said. “We made history. People said we wouldn’t be able to do it. All the Wilson fans were here, we didn’t have as many fans as they did but we had a bigger heart. We just finished it out. We got this one and will be back next year.”

It was a remarkable run to the title for the Blazers. They played a tough, early season schedule and were battled-tested by the time the playoffs started. They needed every bit of that reserve against a resilient Wilson team.

“We’ve lost seven games this year and four of them have been by five points or less,” Ridge View coach Yerrick Stoneman said. “That shows over time, these young guys have matured as basketball players and young men to be able to handle a moment like that.”

There were nine lead changes and three ties in the back-and-forth affair, but it was a late 13-1 run that gave Ridge View control.

It started with a Crosby Harris-James 3-pointer with 6:15 remaining for the final lead change. Walyn Napper converted a three-point play and Harris-James added a lay-up for the first eight points of the run.

Then a five-point possession gave the Blazers their biggest lead, 66-55, with 4:03 remaining. Napper dished off to an open Javon Anderson, who knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing. The Tigers were called for an off-the-ball foul on the play, so they retained possession. Wilson then capped the run with a thunderous dunk.

“That is probably the difference in the game believe it or not,” Stoneman said. “Luckily Walyn was smart enough to get rid of it beforehand. Sometimes you get blessed in different ways and that’s one we were blessed on.”

Wilson (21-4) wasn’t done yet though. Caldwell, who finished with 30 points, scored 10 points as part of a 15-4 Tigers run that made it 72-70 with 54 seconds remaining. Harris-James made one of two free throws with 44 seconds remaining before for a three-point cushion before they sweated out the final couple of possessions.

First, Caldwell missed a long three-pointer with 29 seconds left. Ridge View (21-7) then missed the front end of a one-and-one but was able to get the rebound. That put them in the double bonus with 17 seconds to go but they missed both of those shots.

Caldwell brought the ball up the court but when Ridge View ran two defenders at him, he tossed it to an open Frederick Mullins in the corner. The senior hesitated long enough for Wilson to get a piece of the ball that he was able to corral with 0.4 seconds left.

“Walyn told me to guard No. 4, he’s a shooter,” Wilson said. “There were no other bigs in the game and I was kind of freaking out. I got out there and blocked it, stayed after it and got it. I knew we had it then.”

Stoneman thought the defensive play call worked perfectly.

“We ran a jump on Caldwell,” he said. “I had (Harris-James) come up and double team that and he got rid of it. Luckily, he threw it to the guy that a 6-11 guy was guarding. He was able to get a block on it but that’s typical.”

“Malcolm only averages five or six points a game and people wonder why he’s a D-1 player and that’s why. He can defend on the perimeter, he can block shots and that allows us to be who we are out in transition.”

Wilson finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds and Napper nearly recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Harris-James led the balanced attack with 20 points and Anderson added 16 points.

Wilson coach Derrick McQueen was devastated by the loss but not disappointed in his team’s effort.

“We had an excellent season,” McQueen said. “Nobody expected us to come back or be back. To even play in this game, for them to work as hard as they worked this past season, and do the things we asked them to and to still come up short, it’s pretty disappointing. But again, I’m just very proud of them and proud of their efforts.”

RV – Crosby Harris-James 20, Walyn Napper 17, Javon Anderson 16, Malcolm Wilson 15, Jenkins 4, Bynum 2. W – Alex Caldwell 30, Allen Williamson 11, Maine Gibson 11, Darius Rhodes 10, Williams 4, Carfley 4.


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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