Chester came to Columbia on Tuesday night fully intending to return home with the Region 4-3A girls basketball champion in hand. The A.C. Flora girls, however, had other ideas.
The Falcons, behind 25 points from senior leader Kim Roach, handed the Cyclones their first region setback of the season, 62-57. In the process, the region title race has become a down-to-the-wire thriller with a possible three-way tie in the offing by the end of the conference campaign on Friday night.
A.C. Flora (18-4, 7-2) closes out the regular season at home against Lugoff-Elgin, but the critical match-up is Chester’s visit to Lower Richland (14-6, 7-2), who kept pace with the other contenders with a 74-39 rout of Chapin on Tuesday behind the double-digit production of Jasmine Harrison (15 points), Ashley Edmund (12) and Bea Williams (12).
The Diamond Hornets still have a shot at claiming their fifth straight region championship (outright or otherwise) if they can avenge a bitter 45-44 loss to Chester on Jan. 22.
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While the girls race has taken a dramatic turn, it’s all settled on the boys side. Lower Richland, which had its title celebration put on hold in the wake of a loss to Lugoff-Elgin last Friday at home, made it official with a 68-45 win over Chapin last night.
Malcolm Rhett (19 points) Keith Johnson (14), Dominique Miller (11) and Marcus Taylor (10) shared the wealth for the Diamond Hornets (17-7, 8-1) in the clincher.