Saturday’s games at Colonial Life Arena:
CLASS A GIRLS
Christ Church (24-2) vs. Latta (17-5), 11 a.m.
Coaches: Toni Leopard, Christ Church; Curtis Jackson, Latta
Key players: Christ Church’s Shayla Bennett and Bailey Breazeale; Latta’s TaKeria Legette and Mallory Townsend
Outlook: With Bennett and Breazeale as the Cavaliers’ only double-digit scorers, the defending champion Vikings’ defense might key on them to slow Christ Church’s attack. But Bennett, the Cavaliers’ junior guard, can look to forwards Lawren Cook and Sarah Robinson. While Bennett leads the team with 20 points and 5.5 assists per game, Cook and Robinson combine for 10 points per game.
CLASS A BOYS
Fox Creek (21-7) vs. Burke (24-4), 12:30 p.m.
Coaches: Deon Richardson, Burke; Andrew Peckham, Fox Creek
Key players: Corrin Cannon, Darrian Patterson and Brandyn Quiller of Fox Creek, Burke’s Adonicas Sanders, Sidney Robinson and Isaiah Holloway.
Outlook: Fox Creek is aiming for the 10-year old program’s first state title. Keeping All-State guard Quiller out of foul trouble might be an issue, as the senior has fouled out of his past two games. Quiller put up 18 points in the Upper State final before taking the bench, and the Predators beat Calhoun County by seven.
CLASS 2A GIRLS
Pendleton (23-2) vs. Bishop England (22-4), 2 p.m.
Coaches: Paul Runey, Bishop England; Tim Wood, Pendleton
Key Players: Rhetta Moore and Hannah Corbett of Bishop England; Kameryn Oliver and Keke Rooks of Pendleton
Outlook: The Battling Bishops are defending champions in their fourth consecutive state title game. The Bulldogs are shooting 36 percent from field, but they have a favorable turnover margin, averaging 18 turnovers per game while garnering 28 takeaways.
CLASS 2A BOYS
Keenan (20-8) vs. Ridgeland-Hardeeville (26-2), 4 p.m.
Coaches: Jeremiah Faber, Ridgeland-Hardeeville; Zach Norris, Keenan
Key players: Keenan’s Kendrick Gathers, Tariq Simmons, and Javontae Davis; Jaguars’ Nazair Wilson and Kevon Williams
Outlook: The Raiders’ defense is strong against the transition, and matches up well against the Jaguars’ top scorers – Wilson, Williams, and Devante Robinson – who account for an average 36 points. Ridgeland-Hardeeville has won 23 games in a row on the way to its first state title game. Keenan, seeking the program’s seventh state championship, has won 15.
CLASS 3A GIRLS
Lancaster (26-0) vs. Lakewood (22-4), 5:30 p.m.
Coaches: Frances Fields, Lakewood; Ronnie Robinson, Lancaster
Key players: Lakewood guards Kamryn Lemon and Sonora Dengokl; Lancaster’s Zaria Woods, Malia Rivers and Alexis Williams
Outlook: Dengokl, an All-State senior guard, leads the Gators with 16. 9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, as they head into their first state final game. The undefeated Bruins are led by Rivers, a junior, but have several shooters and are difficult to guard because of their speed. The Bruins average 63 points and have limited opponents to 38.
CLASS 3A BOYS
A.C. Flora (25-4) vs. Midland Valley (25-4), 7 p.m.
Coaches: Joshua Staley, A.C. Flora; Mark Snelgrove, Midland Valley
Key Players: Falcons seniors Rion Davis, Tyler Gray, Karl Gamble and James Murray-Boyles; Midland Valley’s Kameron Brown, Daniel Carr and Aaron Ray
Outlook: Experience is a big advantage for the defending champion Falcons, who return most of their squad from last year’s final. Even with 6-foot-4 senior Ray at center, the Mustangs are outsized in the post, and need a big game on the boards, where Gamble, Davis and Murray-Boyles combine for 26 rebounds per game.
Akilah Imani Nelson