Eau Claire’s boys and the Columbia boys and girls scored first-round wins in the Class 2A state basketball playoffs on Wednesday.
Eau Claire romped at home against Mid-Carolina, 74-42. The Shamrocks (14-9) raced to a 22-7 lead by the end of the first quarter and cruised home from there. Eleven players got on the board for EC with Dontell Riley (14 points) and A.J. Caldwell leading the way.
It was the 53rd playoff win for the Shamrocks in South Carolina’s modern era (starting in 1970-71). EC is currently tied for third place on the all-time list with Keenan and Hemmingway behind Calhoun County (66) and Great Falls (82).
Eau Claire, the No. 2 seed out of Region 4-2A, has a demanding road game on tap Saturday at Abbeville. The unbeaten Panthers (20-0) held off a late rally by Chesnee to escape with a 55-48 win last night.
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Hubert Wicker and Krishawn Holley scored 10 points each for M-C, which closed the book on a disappointing 12-10 season.
Casey Gladney rang up 25 points and Akil Sharperson tallied 21 in Columbia’s first-round upset of Strom Thurmond in Edgefield. The Capitals (10-11) also received double-digit production from Justin Metze and McArtha Thompson, who scored 12 points apiece.
The Caps will have a stern second-round test on Saturday when they head up to Greenville to take on two-time defending state champion Southside.
The Columbia girls also pulled off an upset of Strom Thurmond in last night’s playoff doubleheader. The Capitals (9-10) prevailed 57-40 and will make another trip with the boys team on Saturday to Southside.