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Ashley Ridge High School
Summerville

By Roger Lee

 

Summerville – All three of this year’s Region 8-AAAAA Winter Sports Player of the Year recipients are from Ashley Ridge.

Senior Amanda Blake was named the region’s Player of the Year for Girls Basketball. Blake, who also received All-state honors, averaged 13.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game this season to lead her team in each category.

After defeating Spring Valley 68-48 in the opening round of the state playoffs, Ashley Ridge fell 53-38 to Goose Creek in the second round.

The Lady Swamp Foxes finished the season with a 17-12 record and as the region runner-up behind Summerville. The team didn’t make the playoffs last season so this year’s exit in the second round marks an improvement and should help moving forward.

“Now we have some playoff experience,” Coach Eric Witten said. “Playing in that atmosphere and that type of basketball will make us stronger.”

The team now needs players to step into the leadership roles held by Blake and fellow seniors Aaliyah Gethers, Patricia Reid and Dakiray Smiley. Gethers averaged 4.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this season while Reid averaged 2.1 rebounds.

However, Ashley Ridge stands to return 10 varsity lettermen next season including some who played major roles this year.

Sophomore Diamond Thompson, who was also named to the all-region team, averaged 11.9 points, 3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 4.7 steals per game. Junior Vanessa Blake averaged 10.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. Junior Jakiya Attles averaged 6.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

Others expected to return are Katie Zailski, Diana Blake, Araya Martinez, Ever Curry, Serenity Davidson, Katherine Jackson and Zaley Dobbs.

Boys BB

Ashley Ridge senior Ahmad Brown was named the region’s Player of the Year for Boys Basketball. Brown, who also received All-state honors, averaged 17 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2.1 blocks per game this season.

Senior Hampton Summerhill, who missed several games due to an injury, also had impressive stats this season. Summerhill averaged 16 points, 1.5 steals and 3 assists per game. He shot 75 percent at the free-throw line and 50 percent from three-point range. Summerhill and fellow senior Rashad Brown, were also named to the all-region team.

The Swamp Foxes suffered a heartbreaking loss to Sumter in the opening round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.

Ashley Ridge sank a three-point shot in the closing minute to tie the game. Just when it looked like the Swamp Foxes would prevent Sumter from getting off a shot to force overtime, Joseph Durant drove the lane and released a shot at the buzzer that sank to give the Gamecocks a 52-50 victory.

“Our guys are not quitters,” Ashley Ridge coach Curtis Capers said. “They are not going to lay down. They are going to fight all the way to the end and that’s what they did tonight.”

Ashley Ridge fell to 17-8 with the loss. The Swamp Foxes went 6-2 in region games to tie for first place in region, but Fort Dorchester was awarded the region’s top playoff seed based on a tiebreaker.

The team now has to replace its all-region players plus seniors Evan Logan, Alizar Gadson and Abrien Millington. It does stand to return some players who saw varying amounts of time on the court this season. Ethan Hearn, Malik Freeman, Ta’Veyan Lowe, Jalen Mitchell, Shahied Ladson and Michael Brown round out the team.

Wrestling

Senior heavyweight Kamryn Petrick was named the region’s Player of the Year for Wrestling.

After pinning each of the region heavyweight opponents he faced during the regular season, Petrick won the 285-pound weight class during the South Carolina Class AAAAA individuals wrestling championships. He also surpassed the 100th victory benchmark this season.

Ashley Ridge sophomores Ben Singletary and Weaston Eadie and freshman Christian Garland were also named to the all-region team. Singletary and Garland both qualified for the state individuals championships, but neither placed in the Top 4 for their weight class.

Ashley Ridge placed third in the region this season behind Summerville and Fort Dorchester.

“We are young and this is a tough region so we know we are in for a dog fight every year,” Ashley Ridge coach Marquise Camp said. “But we got a lot of kids mat time and that will make us better next year. We had a lot of adversity with sickness and injuries but now some of our kids have learned how to battle through that. Kamryn really figured some things out and toward the end of the season he dominated. Overall I’m proud of all our kids.”

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