As expected, unbeaten, top-ranked Eau Claire and Keenan rolled to easy home wins on Tuesday in the first round of the Class 2A state girls basketball playoffs.
The Shamrocks (23-0) crushed visiting Mid-Carolina 77-19 behind the scoring of Amelia Carrie (21 points), Eboni Ross (11), Janae’ Stevenson (11) and Akela Brown (11). EC hosts Walhalla, a 66-59 first-round winner over Palmetto, on Friday in a second-round rematch. The Shamrocks pummeled the Razorbacks 65-22 in Columbia last year.
Carrie and Stevenson are the big guns statistically for Eau Claire. Carrie, a junior point guard, is averaging 17.3 points, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals. Stevenson, a 6-foot-1 senior center, is averaging 12.9 points and 7.8 rebounds. Ross, a 6-1 junior center, compliments Stevenson well inside while averaging 8.3 points and 6.3 boards.
Keenan (17-6) drubbed Saluda 55-25 as Brittani Goodwin and Kiera Robinson shared scoring honors with 14 points apiece and Daisha Eddy chipped in 12 points. The Raiders travel to face Region 1-2A champion Pendleton on Friday. The Bulldogs breezed by Woodruff 54-25 last night.
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Senior point guard Goodwin has been outstanding this season, averaging 18.3 points, 4.8 steals, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game and pumped in a season high of 33 points vs. Fairfield Central in December. Eddy, a freshman guard who has two 30-point games on the books, is averaging 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 steals, and leads the team in 3-point shooting with 30 bonus bombs. Robinson, another freshman guard, and sophomore center Jacolby Brown have made solid contributions, as well. Robinson is averaging 7.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 3.4 assists. Brown has been strong inside the paint, averaging 7.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per outing.
How’s this for a choice bit of trivia? Keenan and Pendleton both sport 26-22 in postseason records in the modern era (since 1970-71) with one state championship apiece. The only difference is Pendleton has played in three title games, Keenan two.