Ridgeland-Hardeeville’s state title hopes unraveled in the second half Saturday at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, where perennial power Keenan came alive after halftime to pull away for a 70-40 victory over the Jaguars in the Class 3A championship game.
The Jaguars took a 20-19 lead into halftime after playing stifling half-court defense and preventing Keenan from getting out in transition.
That all changed in the third quarter, as the Raiders opened the half with a 16-3 run to take control and never let RHHS back in it. By the fourth quarter, it had turned into a coronation, with the Keenan crowd erupting after several dunks, including an alley-oop from Dillon Jones to Asanti Price that essentially signaled the end of the Jags’ hopes of winning their first state championship.
Price, shut out and limited to one field goal attempt in the first half, erupted after the break to finish with a game-high 22 points. Latrell Taylor (15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals) and Jones (15 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) helped dismantle the Jaguars’ defense, as the Raiders shot 67.7 percent from the floor in the second half after going 7-for-20 in the first half.
The Jaguars shot a paltry 31.3 percent for the game, as Ny’Gel Boozer led the way with 18 points on 7-of-23 shooting, including 1-of-8 from 3-point range. Dequandre Hamilton had six points and a game-high 10 rebounds, but the Raiders shut down RHHS stars Devin Butler and Rashamel Butler, holding them to five points each.
The loss snapped a 16-game winning streak for the Jaguars (26-4), who fell in the state championship game for the second consecutive year and the third time since 2015.