Irmo won the night on Saturday at home, its boys and girls teams advancing to the third round of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Yellow Jackets girls fought through multiple ties to top Spartanburg 48-37, while the boys team used defensive hustle to hold off Northwestern in a 55-52 win.
“We’ve had too many easy wins along the road here,” boys coach Tim Whipple said. “We handled a lot of adversity tonight, things really didn’t go our way for a lot of the night, and that was a good way to end it.”
Irmo started the final period with a 12-point lead, but saw it dwindle as Quadarius Fair and Ja’Reg Feely poured in buckets. The Irmo lead was down to four with three minutes remaining, and with 1:23 to go, Fair’s short jumper put the Trojans within two points.
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With 4.1 seconds to go and trailing by 3, the Trojans inbounded the ball from the Yellow Jackets’ baseline.
Irmo intercepted the pass at midcourt to preserve the win.
With a patient offense, the Trojans stayed one bucket ahead of the Yellow Jackets early. But Jevante Gross helped the Yellow Jackets take the lead in the second quarter with eight crucial points. Irmo led 29-21 at halftime.
“He’s got a lot of pride, and I think he’d like to go out knowing that he’s a senior that helped us get (to the championship) again,” Whipple said.
The girls were down by seven points after the first quarter, but battled back with a 10-3 run led by Taziya Moody.
Shakira Carter’s free throw knotted the score at 21 before the half.
With Moody guarding Spartanburg’s Kionna Jeter, the Yellow Jackets were able to hinder the Viking offense.
Key steals and rebounding from Carter helped the Yellow Jackets pull ahead 35-33 at the end of the third quarter.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Irmo coach Monica Williams said. She said her girls had been prepared for challenging situations through a season of tough games.
By contrast, Whipple said, “We haven’t had a lot of tough games this year, and I think it’s important that the guys know how to win a game at the end.
Although execution wasn’t perfect, it was good enough to win tonight, and that’s a good thing to carry over into the next round.”
Whipple’s squad will face the winner of Hanna-Gaffney (host Gaffney or travel to T.L. Hanna) in the third round Tuesday, while the Yellow Jacket girls will travel to Greenwood or host Mauldin.