High school basketball | playoffs

High school basketball playoff story lines

ainelson@thestate.comFebruary 19, 2014 

Lower Richland girls aiming for second straight title

The Diamond Hornets (22-1, Regiona 4-3A title) are Class 3A favorites.

Lower Richland will get home-court advantage for three rounds, and the second round could feature a third meeting with region rival Dreher. The Diamond Hornets are led by senior Breshay Johnson and junior guard Dejah Williford.

Highlanders girls among tops heading into SCISA postseason

A’Ja Wilson’s last season at Heathwood could end with a SCISA 3A championship.

Wilson, along with Victoria Dickerson and Gadson Lefft, has led Heathwood to 20-4.

Heathwood rates among the league’s top teams, along with Orangeburg Prep (14-2), a strong defensive squad, and 26-5 Northwood Academy, the league’s top-scoring team.

The SCISA girls Class 3A brackets will not be completed until Thursday, and the tournament begins on Friday.

Dreher girls looking to make it right

After coming in second in Region 4-3A, Dreher has one round at home to kick-start their state title defense. The team is led by seniors Kaydra Duckett and Makayla Johnson, who were sophomore standouts when the Blue Devils won in 2012.

Dreher goes into the playoffs 17-4, and hosts Chester (13-11) for the first round.

The Blue Devils would return home for the third round.

Irmo takes double region titles into the post season

The Yellow Jackets begin Class 4A with a first-round doubleheader.

The defending champion boys’ squad, coached by Tim Whipple and led by Jevante Gross and Javis Howard, are 24-1 after sweeping Region 4-4A in a 22-win streak.

The Irmo girls have won 13 in a row and hold the state’s best record at 23-1.

Dreher boys look to parlay region title into championship

In their first season under coach Jeff DiBattisto, junior Tevin Mack and the Blue Devils (15-6) have accomplished their first goal in earning the Region 4-3A title. With rebounding and inside scoring from Grayson Stiglbauer, and Mack and DeAndre Nathaniel Lee running the floor, the Blue Devils, ranked third in the state, have a strong shot at coming out of the Upper State.

Hammond on a roll

The Skyhawks enter the SCISA 3A tournament 21-5 with a No. 1 seed and a first-round bye.

Hammond, led by sophomores Seventh Woods and Chevez Goodwin, and junior Xavier McDaniel, average more than 60 points and 31 rebounds. Hammond will not get a home game in the playoffs.

The Skyhawks will take on the winner of the Augusta Christian-Wilson Hall match in the Wednesday second-round game at Sumter Civic Center.

Keenan championship run starts on the road

Keenan had a bumpy road at the start of the season. But led by senior point guard Marcus Stroman, the Raiders go into the Class 2A playoffs with an 18-6 record and a No. 1 seed.

Stroman’s 16 points per game have helped Keenan mount a seven game win streak.

The Raiders host Andrew Jackson in the first round, and would have home-court advantage in a third match against region foe Columbia in the second round.

Columbia girls in tough draw

Columbia (14-8) has earned the No. 2 seed in Region 3, and with it a challenging draw.

After hosting 8-14 Cheraw in the first round, the Capitals would face statewide No. 5 Andrew Jackson, 19-3, on the road.

Senior Alexis Foulks leads the Capitals’ effort.

Dutch Fork girls going for a three-peat

Coach Faye Norris’ Silver Foxes are in a different position than they have been at the start of the Class 4A playoffs in several years.

Dutch Fork had to fight with North Augusta for the Region 5-4A title, and is in its first postseason without former star Alaina Coates.

The team is led by senior Sydney Shull and junior Morgan Williams. Dutch Fork is 14-7 and has won five in a row.

Silver Foxes are home through three rounds, starting with Ridge View (8-14).

Akilah Imani Nelson

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