Ridge View, Lexington, Irmo and Sumter were the Midlands survivors in the first round of Class 4A state boys basketball playoffs on Wednesday, while Dutch Fork, Richland Northeast and Blythewood saw their seasons come to an end.
RIDGE VIEW 88, YORK 76
The Blazers improved to 15-11, winning for the 12th time in 14 games since losing to Pinewood Prep in the first game of the Roundball Classic in Charleston on Dec. 28. But it was no easy task as the visiting Cougars hung tough to the end behind a 41-point night by Jerry Holmes.
“I was not please at all with how we finished the game, but I am extremely happy to survive and advance to the second round,” said coach John Combs.
Jamar Gillespie led the Blazers with 23 points, and had plenty of support from Cameron Lee (16 points), Mike Green (15), Jamaal Brantley (15) and Jared Johnson (11). Gillespie and Green combined for 24 of RV’s 29 fourth-quarter points.
Ridge View hosts Dorman in second round play on Saturday. The Cavaliers (16-9) toppled T.L. Hanna 77-59 at home last night.
LEXINGTON 60, DUTCH FORK 46
The Wildcats (22-5) opened the playoffs on a winning note for the 12th time in 13 tries since 1994. Shaq Roland set the pace with 20 points, Corey Hendern added 18 and David Burns tallied 15 to highlight the Lexington triumph.
Donte Shuler score 12 points for the Silver Foxes, who faded down the stretch. DF closed the season with five straight losses to finish with a 13-11 record.
Lexington hosts a dangerous Berkeley team on Saturday. The Stags star is senior Bruce Ellington, who led Berkeley to the 4A Division II state football championship in the fall and has already signed to play basketball at South Carolina. Ellington is considered one of the top five point guards in the country, according to a number of national recruiting outfits. Berkeley (14-10) beat Carolina Forest 70-55 in its playoff opener.
IRMO 67, SUMMERVILLE 61
David Frazier and Jordan Roper packed a potent 1-2 punch in the Yellow Jackets first-round win. Frazier zipped in 26 points and Roper poured in 24 as Irmo bagged its 42nd playoff win since 1971. The Irmo postseason win total is ninth of the all-time list.
The Jackets (18-7) have a major challenge on Saturday night when they travel to face defending state champion Goose Creek. The Gators (21-3) needed a 20-10 fourth-quarter rally to dispatch South Florence, a No. 4 seed, and avoid a shocking first-round upset.
SUMTER 53, JAMES ISLAND 39
The Gamecocks put a defensive hurt on the visiting Trojans, and later discovered it will have a bonus home game in the second round. Sumter, 20-4 and the No. 2 seed out of Region 6-4A, will host North Augusta on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets, the No. 4 seed from Region 5-4A, upset Region 8-4A champion West Ashley last night.
James Island converted its first three field goal tries, but found the range only nine more times the rest of the way and finished with a shooting percentage below 25% against Sumter’s active 1-3-1 zone. Eren Moses (13 points) and Timmy Rogers (12) led the way offensively for the Gamecocks.
FORT DORCHESTER 57, RICHLAND NE 48
The Cavaliers, who finished at 15-10, suffered their third straight first-round playoff loss in North Charleston. Travis Hammonds scored 13 points and Quinn Martin and Jarred Guest scored 10 apiece for RNE.
FORT MILL 64, BLYTHEWOOD 56
The Bengals put up the good fight but faltered in the second half against the host Yellow Jackets (21-4). Blythewood had a 27-25 lead at halftime, but Fort Mill took command with a 23-16 surge in the third quarter.
Chris Brown and Carlton Williams shared scoring honors for the Bengals with 12 points apiece and Avery Johnson chipped in 10. Blythewood finished with an 8-13 record.