COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Down by five at halftime, Ridge View showed no panic.
In fact, it’s a story they were all too familiar with throughout the playoffs. In those stories, the Blazers trailed their opponent only to come back and win. Saturday night was no different. With Tyler Rice pouring in 23 points and a Ja’Von Benson’s 14 points and 13 rebounds, Ridge View remained on top of the Class 4A mountain with a 69-59 win over Myrtle Beach.
“I’m overwhelmed, man,” Benson said. “I was crying with a minute left.”
Ridge View and Myrtle Beach traded buckets for the first four minutes of the game before the Blazers made their move. Tied at 13, Ridge View went on an 11-3 run thanks to Patrick Jenkins and Cincere Scott to take a 22-16 lead. However, a three-pointer by Darius Hough would slice Ridge View’s lead making it 22-19 after one.
Myrtle Beach built a run of their own in the second. The Seahawks constructed a 14-4 run to end the period to help themselves to a 34-29 lead. Emorie Knox, who finished with a team-high 16 points, led the way for Myrtle Beach in the first half with 10 points.
Myrtle Beach would rally back and eventually take a 44-37 lead in the third quarter, but Ridge View remained unfazed and battled back. The Blazers had a 10-2 run to end the quarter that put them ahead 47-46.
Ridge View looked to put things away early in the fourth. The Blazers went on a 10-2 run, taking a 57-48 lead with just over six minutes to go.
Myrtle Beach would cut the lead to six with 2:04 left to play, but that’s as close as they’d get.
Ridge View has now won three straight state championships, but they’re not ready to rest on their accomplishments just yet.
“Three in a row? I guess that means I’ve got to get one more,” Stoneman said. “I’m going to enjoy it right now, but Monday, we’ve got to look forward to next year. It is what it is. I love it, but we’ve set standards at Ridge View that it’s expected every year.”