In the lead-up to the Class 3A state championship game, legendary Ridgeland-Hardeeville boys’ basketball coach Jeremiah Faber likened his team’s matchup with defending champion Southside to the Biblical tale of David and Goliath.
The giants won Saturday at Colonial Life Arena.
Southside’s twin towers – 6-10 Jamal Burke and 6-8 R.J. Campbell – combined for 35 points, 29 rebounds, and seven blocked shots to lead the Tigers to a 74-58 win over the Jaguars, denying Faber’s bid for his first state title in 33 years coaching the Jags.
The Tigers (23-2) took control early and kept the Jaguars at arm’s length all afternoon, thanks in large part to their big men. Campbell finished with 20 points and eight rebounds and Burke dominated the paint with 15 points and 21 boards, and the smaller Jaguars didn’t have an answer.
RHHS (23-2) trailed 36-22 at halftime after shooting just 25 percent in the first half. The Jags heated up a bit after the break but still finished at just 30.3 percent overall and 5-for-22 from 3-point range.
Devin Butler scored 18 of his team-high 20 points in the second half and grabbed six rebounds to keep the Jaguars in it as long as possible, and RHHS was within seven early in the fourth quarter before Southside put it away.
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