COLUMBIA -- Ridge View's boys wanted to set the tone early during Wednesday's Class AAAA first-round game against Fort Mill.
The Blazers wanted to run. They wanted to score in transition and defensively they wanted to force the Yellow Jackets into making bad decision.
Ridge View did enough of that to escape with a 57-49 win.
Mike Green scored a game-high 15 points and Jamar Gillespie added 12 as the Blazers won their eighth consecutive game and move into Saturday's second round.
"We wanted to come out and be aggressive offensively, especially in the fourth quarter," said Ridge View coach John Combs, whose team improved to 11-13 and plays host to either Hillcrest or Greenwood on Saturday. "We felt like we could push the ball up the court and score off transition and get it going quickly."
But the Blazers only had moments like that sparingly. Fort Mill, which ended the season 14-11, kept hanging around.
The Yellow Jackets, who trailed the entire first half, tied the game 27-27 on a 3-pointer from Rashawn Dupree early in the third quarter. There were three ties in the quarter before Ridge View was able to distance itself.
"We thought we could've won it," Fort Mill coach Bailey Jackson said. "I'm not saying we should've won, but we definitely could've won. We didn't make the plays when we needed to. We didn't finish when we needed to. We're a very young team and we'll use this as a learning experience."
But the Blazers began to get a little careless with the ball, missing dunks and making turnovers that led in fast-break shots at the other end for Fort Mill in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets went on a 7-0 run to narrow the Ridge View lead 27-24 at halftime. Gillispie had eight points in the first quarter, including a spectacular dunk, but only a field goal in the second. Green, the Blazers' presense in the post, had seven first-half points.
But Gillespie, who sat out most of the second half with foul trouble, got the Blazers going in the fourth with a reverse layup to push the lead to 47-44. Then Louis Hargove capped a fast-break with a layup, Jamie Portee scored from the baseline and Green dunked off a feed from Jarvis Davis as Ridge View went on a 10-2 run to put the game away.
"We played well for 14 and a half minutes," Combs said. "But when you turn the ball over and lose the kind of shooters that Fort Mill has, then you can't expect to go far."
Ridge View 57
Fort Mill 49