South Pointe didn't make the baskets when it needed them most and fell in a hard-fought 74-68 contest to Ridge View Tuesday.
After jumping to a 23-16 lead after the first quarter, the Stallions fell victim to Ridge View's in-your-face defensive pressure and began to cough up the ball, allowing the Blazers to take advantage of a 16-2 run over the opening 3:20 to take the lead at 28-23.
Jarvis Davis, who finished with a game-high 29 points, scored the first eight points of the second quarter to jump-start the Blazers' run.
"(Davis) was able to penetrate and get shots when he wanted them," South Pointe coach Dwayne Hartsoe said. "We've got a long ways to go and tonight we just didn't do a great job defending."
A lack of defense wasn't the only thing to plague the Stallions (2-2). South Pointe committed costly turnovers that led to easy baskets in transition, perhaps none more costly than turnovers on back-to-back possesions after taking a 63-59 lead with 5:30 remaining in the game.
South Pointe regained the lead and momentum when junior Breon Jaggers converted the front end of a one-and-one with 2:50 remaining, giving his team its first lead since the 1:32 mark of the first quarter. The Stallions struggled to find breathing room and traded baskets with Ridge View on the next seven possessions to knot the score at 55, setting up a one-quarter shootout for the win.
"Again, it came down to turnovers. We got up by six and didn't protect the ball," Hartsoe said. "We just weren't smart with the ball and we need to do a better job handling the pressure and running our offense and trying to get the shots we want."
Sophomore Tre Erby, who led the Stallions with 27 points, grabbed a defensive rebound and took it coast-to-coast for an easy lay-up to give South Pointe a 52-49 edge. Davis took over the final minute of the quarter and scored two baskets in the final 15 seconds to level the score heading into the fourth.
South Pointe managed to settle down as the fourth quarter opened and junior Cory Kessler, who came off the bench, had two big plays to help his team go ahead 61-55 less than two minutes in. Kessler pulled an offensive rebound on the first possession of the quarter and earned a trip to the line, where he converted the back end of a two-shot foul. Two plays later, he spotted a 3-pointer from the right wing and drilled it to put the Stallions ahead by six with 5:30 to play.
An untimely drought over the next five minutes doomed South Pointe.
Ridge View (6-6) continued to do what it had done all night -- attack the basket and get to the free-throw line, where it held a commanding edge. The Blazers made more free throws than South Pointe attempted, finishing 28-of-40 from the charity stripe, compared to the Stallions' 11-of-25.
The Blazers converted 10-of-14 from the line during the Stallions' drought. South Pointe freshman Jadeveon Clowney snapped the scoreless streak with a bucket with 32 seconds remaining. As the case had been all night, South Pointe couldn't hit a shot when it needed one and Davis' free throw with 15 seconds remaining salted the win.
Ridge View 74
South Pointe 68