By Thomas Grant Jr.

For Ridge View boys basketball coach Joshua Staley, the non-region schedule is a time of preparation against formidable challengers.

So far, the number-one ranked Blazers have successfully faced teams in Florida and ranked in-state teams North Augusta and Blythewood for a 4-0 start.

On Thursday, the competition gets even more stiffer as Ridge View once again plays host to The Bash.

“We’ve got a really, really tough non-conference schedule,” Staley said. “I can’t look at any game and be able to tell the players, ‘Hey man, tell your family and grandparents to come because everybody’s going to get in. Every game is going to be a battle. Every game is going to be a test.”

The 3-day event features some of the top teams in the nation. For 11 years, The Bash has seen future NBA players like P.J. Dozier, G.G. Jackson, and Jonathan Kuminga.

This year’s field of 12 teams former college top prospects like Cole Anthony and preseason S.C. Basketball Coaches Association top seniors Lexington’s Cam Scott and Gray Collegiate’s Tre Maddox and Braylhan Thomas.

The Blazers will open The Bash at 6 p.m. against St. Francis (Texas) and close with a rematch with Blythewood. The two teams met Friday at Blythewood with Ridge View winning 55-52.

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Thursday’s Games

St. Francis (TX) vs. Ridge View 6 p.m.

Long Island Lutheran (NY) vs. Sunrise Christian (KS) 7:30 p.m.

Oak Hill Academy (VA) vs. Canyon International Academy (AZ) 9 p.m.

Friday’s Games

Canyon International Academy (AZ) vs. Legacy Early College 6 p.m.

Gray Collegiate vs. St. Francis (TX) 7:30 p.m.

Sunrise Christian (KS) vs. Ridge View 9 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Rock Creek (MD) vs. Cross Creek (GA) 4:30 p.m.

St. Francis (TX) vs. Lexington 6 p.m.

Oak Hill Academy vs. Legacy Early College 7:30 p.m.

Blythewood vs. Ridge View 9 p.m.

PHOTO BY THOMAS GRANT JR. – Ridge View guard Korie Corbett