Two fairly young, but cautiously optimistic teams faced off in Rossville on Tuesday night and it was the Ridgeland Panthers, sparked by a boisterous student section, securing a 75-56 win over Gordon Lee on the third day of Ridgeland's annual Thanksgiving Classic.
The Panthers took a 35-29 advantage into halftime against their Walker County rivals. The Trojans got to within five points, 46-41, late in the third quarter, but the home team was able to stretch the lead back out to double digits (54-43) by the end of the period.
Then in the fourth quarter, Kyan Clark knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and Matthew Ramsey had one as Ridgeland outscored Gordon Lee 21-13 over the final eight minutes.
Judd Anderson had a game-high 23 points for the Panthers, while Clark had five threes on the night and finished with 16 points. Chase Hickman scored eight. Zack Harrison and Eron Graham each had six, while John Hill had two late points to cap the scoring.
Hunter Holmes had a team-high 18 points for Gordon Lee, followed by Will McCutcheon with eight and Cooper Jackson and Josh Underwood with six apiece.
Conner Whitman added five points. Andrew Amor, Jordan Underwood and Sam Sartin each had four, while Aiden Goodwin chipped in with one.
Ridgeland (1-0) will close out the Classic with a 2:30 p.m. tip against Ringgold on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Gordon Lee's next game will be its first Region 6-A contest of the season. They will welcome in the B.E.S.T. Academy Eagles out of Atlanta on Friday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m.