Saturday’s state basketball semifinals capsules

March 1, 2014 

All games at Greenville’s Bon Secours Wellness Arena

CLASS A BOYS

C.A. JOHNSON VS. ST. JOSEPH’S

12:30 p.m.: The Hornets, the host team, has won six in a row and its past 10 wins were by 10 points or more. St. Joseph’s (21-6) averages 60 points per game but squeezed past Great Falls 39-37 in the second round. C.A. Johnson (19-6) defeated Great Falls 65-56 for the Region 3-A title. The Hornets are led by seniors Mike Knox, Nate Nelson and all-state player Peter Goodman. The Hornets average 45 points per game, but they have the defense to make that work.

CLASS 2A GIRLS

NEWBERRY VS. ANDREW JACKSON

2 p.m.: The Bulldogs (18-9) are led by all-state senior Arnasia Boyd. Eighth grader Kelsey Felks and sophomore Tyshira Bastes post 24 of the Bulldogs’ 52 points per game. But coach Melissa Mendenhall’s squad is not a strong rebounding team, and the Volunteers (22-3) average 42 rebounds per game led by Anslee McDow and Elizabeth Scott, who each post about eight boards per game. Scott and senior Dareisha Sowell combine to average 30 points per game.

CLASS 2A BOYS

NEWBERRY VS. INDIAN LAND

3:30 p.m.: Bulldogs coach Chad Cary has guided his team to its third consecutive Upper State title bout. The Bulldogs (24-4) like to play a fast but controlled offense. Bennett Wilson, an all-state selection, Yafari Werts and Notorious Booker help Newberry average 83 points per game. The Bulldogs have won their past nine by an average of 22 points. Indian Land (20-4) has won its past 10, led by all-state sophomore Darnell Rodgers who averages 26.5 points, and Lee McCall, who posts 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds. The Warriors average 72 points per game.

CLASS 3A GIRLS

DREHER VS. LOWER RICHLAND

5 p.m.: The third meeting between Region 4-3A rivals Lower Richland (25-1) and Dreher (20-4) likely will be fast and physical. The Diamond Hornets are led in the post by all-state senior Breshay Johnson and junior guard/forward Dejah Williford, and strong outside shooting from freshman Kameron Roach. Dreher’s balanced squad has strong leadership from seniors Makayla Johnson and all-state player of the year Kaydra Duckett. Lower Richland won both regular-season meetings and has defeated playoff opponents by an average of 37 points. Dreher has won four in a row and owns a 30-point average margin of victory in the playoffs.

CLASS 3A BOYS

A.C. FLORA VS. GREENVILLE

6:30 p.m.: Coach Leon Brunson’s Falcons (20-9) are riding a five-win streak. Led by all-state player Rion Davis and Diquan Day Grant, the Falcons average 61 points per game. Greenville (21-6), in a bid to return to the Class 3A championship for the first time since 2008, averages 53 points per game and is led by Trey Williams. The Red Raiders have won their playoff games by a total of 14 points, eking in with a 45-44 quarterfinal win against Dreher. The Falcons know how to win in close games, but they also have posted some lopsided victories and are coming off a 68-48 win against Emerald in the third round.

Akilah Imani Nelson

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