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Ridge View tops Myrtle Beach with big fourth quarter to three-peat in class AAAA 69-59

Columbia – By the time the Ridge View Blazers (23-8) took the court Saturday night three of the four crowned Boy’s State Champions were either repeats, three-peats or four-peats so the Blazer decided to join the club as they beat the Myrtle Beach Seahawks 69-59 to capture their third consecutive AAAA state championship (Three-peat).

            “We had to battle back, and I think the leadership of Tyler Rice, Cincere, Scott and Ja’Von Benson (AAAA POY) was the difference tonight. They had been on this stage before so there was no panic. We also had other guys like Jordan Smith step up tonight and that is what we had throughout the tournament,” said Ridge View head coach Yerrick Stoneman.

            Coach Stoneman was asked what did three in a row mean to him, his answer, “I guess it means we have to get one more. I have the mentality that I am going to enjoy this right now. Come Monday we will get back to work. We have set a standard at Ridge View.”

            Myrtle Beach (20-9) entered the championship game looking for their fourth state basketball championship and first since Everett Golson led them to the AAA title in 2008. However, they saw a 34-29 halftime lead disappear in the second half into their first loss on the biggest of stage in South Carolina.

            “Hats off to Ridge View, they played like champions and like they had been here before but I’m very proud the kids. They fought hard to get here and showed they belonged,” said Myrtle Beach Head coach Craig Martin. “We came here to win the game and we came out with fire and passion played hard from the start but unfortunately the ball didn’t bounce our way.”

            The game started with the best opening quarter of the entire weekend as both teams played to their strengths with the Seahawks hitting five three-pointers with two coming from Myrtle Beach’s All -State player Emorie Knox. Ayden HIckman added five points with one 3-pointer.

            Meanwhile, Ridge View’s Tyler Rice displayed his all-around game by hitting a three and driving to the hoop to get the old fashion three as he scored 10 points in the quarter for the Blazers. As the Blazers led 22-19 when the quarter ended.

            The second quarter saw Myrtle Beach use their quickness to cause some problems for the Blazers to outscore Ridge View 15-7 and take a 34-29 lead at the half. Knox and JJ Jones had four points each to lead the Seahawks. Knox would finish the night with a team high 16 points and six boards.

            One of the keys to the Seahawks success in the first half was keeping Benson scoreless as he went 0-8 from the field. That would change in the second half in a big way for the Blazers.

            “Myrtle Beach is a very quick team, so we made a couple of adjustments at the half to take that away from them,” coach Stoneman said.    

            The Seahawks jumped out to 44-37 lead behind Knox as he scored on a couple of drives and three from James Marques.

            After a TV time Ridge View took over as Mr. Benson decided it was his time to go work on the inside on both ends of the court with a blocked shot and rim rattling throw down and when Rice hit a three pointer to end the quarter that put the Blazers on top for good at 47-46.

            “Ja’Von was getting frustrated but we told him to just keep playing and when he got the dunk it got him going,” coach Stoneman

            The fourth quarter belonged to Benson as he scored 10 of his 14 to lead the Blazers as they outscored the Seahawks 22-13 to clinch their third straight championship. Scott added 7 points.

            Free throws hurt the Seahawks in the fourth quarter as they were 4-8 but two of the misses were the front end of one-and-ones. Also hurting their comeback cause was three players fouling out.

            Rice led the Blazers with a game high 23 as he went 3-6 from behind the arc. Scott had 16 and Patrick Jenkins added 13.

            Joining Knox in double figures were Jones with 14 and Hickman score 10.


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