The No. 1-ranked Ridgeland-Hardeeville boys basketball team held on to eliminate the visiting Whale Branch Warriors, 52-45, on Wednesday night in Ridgeland.
In the second half, the Warriors cut a double-digit Jaguars lead to 3 with three minutes remaining on the clock. But in the end, the Jaguars’ defense was too much.
“We were very fortunate tonight as Whale Branch played real hard game,” Ridgeland-Hardeeville head coach Jeremiah Faber said. “They had a great half-court trap, but in the end we responded and got a good win. We came out a little flat and we're gonna have to play better moving on.
“We just have a desire to get back to Columbia and win it all.”
The Jaguars started the first half aggressively, getting steals off a fiercely effective full-court press. Whale Branch had a difficult time answering the Jaguars on the offnsive end, missing several layups and close shots at the basket.
The Jaguars led 27-15 at the break.
Top scorers for the Jaguars were Trei'von Anderson with 10 points and Trenard Ferrell, who tallied nine points.
Whale Branch's Kenny Brown scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and Torric Fair added 12.
“Our kids played hard and with a lot of heart. They gave everything they had,” Whale Branch head coach Jim Raymond said. “We lost a lot of close games this year, and this one wasn't any different. Our kids believed in their teammates and battled like true warriors tonight. I could not be more proud”