Ridgeland-Hardeeville’s boys will get another shot at the state championship that has eluded their legendary coach.
The Jaguars advanced to Class 3A state championship game for the second consecutive season with a 56-51 win over Manning on Saturday in Florence.
RHHS was without Class 3A Co-Player of the Year Rashamel Butler, who was suspended after picking up two technical fouls in Tuesday’s win over Marion, and the Jaguars were out of sorts early without their leader. After scoring the game’s first seven points, the Jaguars watched the Monarchs reel off a 21-3 run to open an 11-point advantage.
Manning led 28-19 at halftime and 39-31 after three quarters before the Jaguars began chipping away. RHHS took its first lead since the first quarter on two Devin Butler free throws that made it 49-48 with 2:38 to play and closed it out.
Ny’Gel Boozer scored 22 points — 12 in the fourth quarter — to lead the Jaguars, who will play in the state championship for the third time in five years. Rashard Baker added 17 points and Devin Butler had 11 for RHHS, which has won 16 straight games.
The Jaguars (26-3) will face Keenan (29-1) in a rematch of the 2015 Class 2A final at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia.