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February 6, 2010MORE: Check out the latest RivalsHigh Top 100 boys basketball rankings
We tried to tell you how good basketball in Memphis is this year (see our rankings lead here).
Of course words are one thing, games are another.
Friday night, four top teams got together for two terrific games.
Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway, No. 9 in the latest RivalsHigh Top 100 boys basketball rankings, got it all it could handle from unranked Southwind, escaping with a 74-73 victory. It improved to 20-0 with the victory.
Elsewhere, No. 84 Memphis Central defeated No. 20 Melrose, 80-75.
Ridgeway had a few players sick, but coach Wes Henning told the Memphis Commercial Appeal they wouldn't use that as an excuse.
"My kids were all sick yesterday ... and I said, 'Guys it's just a game.' I said, 'We'll play with whatever we've got,'" he told the paper (read its recap here). "But the kids said they didn't want to let me down."
Ridgeway used a 21-4 run to give itself its biggest lead of the game at 55-43, and then survived a furious comeback.
Southwind (21-3) used a steal and layup by Montez Fifer to pull to 72-70 with 10.5 seconds remaining. Ridgeway answered with a pair of free throws from Marterrace Brock with 8.6 seconds left.
It needed both of them: Southwind guard Darious Paige hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to account for the final score.
Central beat Melrose from the line, going 10-for-10 down the stretch. Senior point guard Masceo Harmon had 19.
Central improved to 20-3.
Melrose, which lost to No. 34 White Station earlier in the week, dropped to 22-3.