The Dominion Post  

Ridgeway becomes UHS all-time leading scorer

Created on:   Thu, Feb 22, 2018   11:59 AM

Last modified:   Thu, Feb 22, 2018   11:58 AM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — It wasn’t a matter of if, but when for University High boys’ basketball player Ethan Ridgeway.

With a 3-pointer from the right wing early in the second quarter against Brooke on Feb. 21 — Ridgeway’s Senior Night — he became the Hawks’ all-time leading scorer, surpassing Jedd Gyorko’s mark of 1,522 points, set in 2007.

“I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” Ridgeway said after UHS’s 114-49 win over the Bruins. “I’m really blessed — these last four years have been an awesome ride. It kind of sucks that it’s about to end, but hopefully it ends on a good note.”

Ridgeway needed 10 points coming into the game, and after he reached the milestone, athletic director Jeff Bailey presented him with a game ball. Ridgeway wasn’t finished, adding 14 points the rest of the way.

As it stands now, with at least two games remaining in Ridgeway’s career, the UHS record is 1,539 points.

Ridgeway entered the UHS basketball program as a freshman in 2014, and after he spent a few games playing both JV and varsity, head coach Joe Schmidle knew Ridgeway couldn’t continue to do that.

“He’s a special young man,” Schmidle said. “I didn’t know him until I got here, but even after a few games, I knew what kind of player he was. As a team, we weren’t very good, but he was the best player I had, even as a freshman.”

Ridgeway has started all four years and is also the all-time leader in games played at UHS.

“At the start of the year last year, I didn’t even think that I could possibly get this far,” Ridgeway said. “It was a shocker to everyone, I knew I needed about 500 points to get there, but coach told me a couple games ago that I was about 70 points away. From then on, I still couldn’t imagine I’d be the boys’ all-time record. It’s just something that I’m really grateful for.”

Six other seniors were honored prior to the game: Austin Forbes, Clay Bailey, Riley McCord, Storm Leftridge, Buddy Leach and Oliver Reed.

Seniors got the starting nod, and Bailey, who started most of the season, sacrificed his spot to allow another senior to start.

These seniors were freshmen when Schmidle became the head coach, so this group is “his guys.”

“We all started together, and we hope that we can finish this the way that we want to,” he said. “This is a pretty special group of kids in a lot of different ways. It’s fun watching how they play together and how unselfish they are. This was just a special night.”

Forbes (10), Bailey (6), Leftridge (8), McCord (8) Leach (1) all scored.

Reed came off the bench late and scored five points, including a long 3-pointer from the left wing.

Sophomore point guard Kaden Metheny was the Hawks’ (20-1) leading scorer, with 29 points, including seven 3-pointers.

UHS, No. 2 in the latest MetroNews power rankings, will conclude its regular season at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, hosting Preston.

It will play Preston again at 7 p.m. Feb. 28, in the first round of the sectional.