Dutch Fork puts its first-place standing in Region 5-4A girls basketball on the line Tuesday at home against archrival Irmo in the final game of the first half of the conference campaign.
The only blemish on Irmo’s region record is a one-point loss to Orangeburg-Wilkinson on Dec. 16. The Yellow Jackets stand at 12-4 overall, 5-1 in region play.
The host Silver Foxes are not getting any love in the Class 4A rankings. Dutch Fork (10-3, 6-0) was not included in the most recent big-school poll, which was released on Jan. 12. Faye Norris’ team has handily beaten eighth-ranked Orangeburg-Wilkinson and No. 9 Aiken in region games and split two non-region games with No. 6 Ridge View.
DF has beaten all region foes to date by at least 10 points with the closest call coming last Friday in a 41-31 win over Aiken. The sluggish game was even (18-18) at halftime, but the Silver Foxes pulled away after the break by holding the Green Hornets to a meager 13 points in the second half.
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Aliana Coates, a 6-foot-4 eighth grader, had a big game for DF with 12 points, 12 rebounds, five steals and one block. Senior guard Devin Pearson added 11 points to the cause. Donesha Shuler had seven points and eight rebounds, while Shyianne Oakman seven points and six boards.
For the season, Pearson leads in team with a 12.7 scoring average. Otherwise, senior guard Erin Houston is averaging 5.9 ppg and leads the team in steals with 30, Shuler is averaging 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds, Oakman is averaging 10.7 points and 7.4 rebounds with a team-high 53 blocks and Coates is averaging 12.2 points and 9.8 rebounds along with 37 blocks and 28 steals.
Irmo tuned up for the showdown with a 77-18 romp over Richland Northeast. Sarah Green led the scoring parade with 16 points, followed by Brooke McCants (14), Melissa Brit (12) and Brianna Stanton (10).
McCants is averaging 12.0 points and 2.4 assists. Green is averaging 11.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 blocks, and is shooting 58% from the field. Stanton and Ta’rea Yates are both averaging 7.1 points a game, and Stanton leads the team is steals with 36.
Irmo at Dutch Fork; Lexington at White Knoll; Orangeburg-Wilkinson at Richland Northeast; Aiken at North Augusta.
Region 5-4A girls standings
Dutch Fork 6-0; Irmo 5-1; Orangeburg-Wilkinson 4-2; North Augusta 4-2; Aiken 3-3; Lexington 1-5; White Knoll 1-5; Richland Northeast 0-6.