by Cody Amerson
Ridge View at Lexington
1st Round 4A State Playoffs
When the playoffs come around, teams rely on veterans to make key plays. When Ridge View called on a pair of seniors with the game on the line Wednesday, they answered. With nine seconds remaining in fourth quarter, senior Trevon Howell, swished a deep three pointer to tie the game up. Then in overtime, Jose Roman, also a senior, laid in the game winner with ten seconds remaining. It was only fitting that the guy that kept Ridge View around and in the game would hit the winner. When Howell tied it late in the fourth, it was the first time Lexington didn’t hold the lead since the first quarter.
For the majority of this game it looked like Lexington would be heading to the second round of the playoffs. They fell behind early when the Blazers grabbed a 10-5 led out of the gates. However, Grant Hendrix hit five three pointers in the first quarter and Lexington would have a 19-16 lead after the first quarter. In his final career game, the senior finished with 17 points. The Wildcats used his hot shooting to extend the lead with a 10-1 run starting the second quarter.
Lexington seemed to have the game in hand, leading by seven points with just two minutes remaining. Ridge View finished the fourth quarter by turning multiple turnovers into easy buckets, finishing with a 7-0 run, including Howell's long three pointer to tie it up with just seconds remaining.
The dog fight continued in overtime and the score was tied with 30 seconds remaining. After a Ridge View timeout, the Blazers put the ball in the hands of point guard Jordan Portee. Portee, a senior, finished the game with ten points, but it was his assist that ensured the Blazers' victory. Watching the clock tick down inside fifteen seconds, he penetrated to the rim, drew an extra defender, and found Roman. Roman laid in the open shot to secure the win. The whole arena stood shocked as the tiny group in the stands wearing purple was shouting their lungs out. Roman had made the shot, but it was Portee who was dog piled on center court.
Unfortunately, Roman never got up, and he laid there holding his ankle. It is unknown how serious the injury is and whether he will be able to play in round two. Roman led the Blazers with twenty-two points. It would be a huge loss if he is unable to return.