Preview: 5-3A basketball openers

01/09/2014 10:59 PM

01/09/2014 11:01 PM

The Region 5-3A basketball season starts with a full slate of varsity doubleheaders on Friday.

Strom Thurmond is the reigning boys champion, finishing one game ahead of both Airport and Midland Valley. Airport, meanwhile, ran the table with a 10-0 record to secure the girls title.

Swansea at Airport

Airport’s boys are off to a strong start with a 9-3 non-region record. The Eagles roll into conference play in the midst of a six-game winning streak, including successes this week against Class 4A foes South Aiken and White Knoll. Daniel Gillins pumped in 18 points in Tuesday’s 68-44 rout of South Aiken. Sammy Frazier (14 points) and Quan Bovain (12) did the heavy lifting in a 58-55 triumph on Wednesday against White Knoll that avenged an early December loss to the Timberwolves The Airport girls have been nearly as good with an 8-4 record so far. This week, Kayla Sutton and Kaela Mansell shared scoring honors with 10 points apiece in a 38-14 win over South Aiken, while Lexy Conyers tallied a game-high 13 points in a 35-29 win against White Knoll Ryan Koger (15.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg) has been the top producer for the 5-3 Swansea boys team. The Tigers girls have won just two of 11 contests to date.

Brookland-Cayce at Strom Thurmond

The B-C boys have turned things around this season, and enter the conference campaign with a 9-4 record. Strom Thurmond (4-10) closed out a six-game losing streak on Tuesday with a 62-58 win over McCormick.

Midland Valley at Gilbert

Gilbert’s boys closed a 7-3 non-region showing with a 70-68 win over Mid-Carolina on Tuesday behind Mitch Spires (22 points), Jalon Bright (14) and Jon Newman (13). The Indians went 4-18 overall last season, 0-10 in region matters The Gilbert girls stand at 3-8 after dropped seven of its last eight games Midland Valley has established itself as the boys team to beat thanks to a 12-2 performance in non-region outings. The Mustangs are ranked No. 2 in Class 3A behind Hartsville.

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