A short season for the Swamp Foxes came to an end Feb. 17.
Ashley Ridge lost in the final of the Region 8-AAAAA Boys Basketball Tournament, falling 53-34 to West Ashley.
Due to COVID-19, this year region officials decided to host a region tournament to finalize playoff seeding rather than playing a full region schedule. The Fort Dorchester Boys swept a round of region games to clinch the region’s No. 1 playoff seed and the rest of the teams battled for the No. 2 seed during the tournament. Normally four teams from each region advance to the playoffs but this year state officials decided it was safer to only have two teams from each region advance, thus eliminating a round of playoff games.
With the loss to West Ashley, the Swamp Foxes finished in third place for the region. It wasn’t the finish team was looking for, but now all it can do is start preparing for next season.
“West Ashley played very well and hard,” Ashley Ridge coach Curtis Capers said. “We have a few guys that will be returning next season, which should be a plus. The key will be what we are allowed to do this offseason to help us get prepared.”
Ashley Ridge had played well to pick up some momentum during its three games prior to facing the Wildcats.
The Swamp Foxes lost two hard-fought battles the week before. Ashley Ridge took Summerville into overtime before suffering a 56-55 loss and fell 74-70 to Stall.
Ashley Ridge then opened the region tournament Feb. 16 with a 64-57 win over Summerville to advance to the tournament final. The Swamp Foxes took a 31-22 lead into the half, but allowed Summerville to rally and take a 38-36 lead into the final quarter.
Senior Trey Gadson and junior Hayden Williams stepped up in the final quarter, combining to score 17 of the Swamp Foxes’ 28 fourth-quarter points. The Ashley Ridge defense held Summerville to 19 points during the final eight minutes.
Williams finished with a game-high 20 points and Gadson finished with 17 points. Jahlil Hope added 7 points for the Swamp Foxes while and Malik Freeman added 6.
Ashley Ridge finishes the season with a 4-8 record.
Summerville’s Matty Foor matched Williams’ game-high 20 points and Yannick Smith finished with 19 points for Summerville. Ryan Foor added 12 points.
The Green Wave finished its season with an 8-3 record. Summerville will only lose two seniors to graduation.
The playoffs for Fort Dorchester and West Ashley begin Feb. 23. The second round is scheduled for Feb. 26.