It will be a showdown between the top teams in Region 4 and Region 2 in Tuesday’s Upper State semifinal round of the Class 2A state girls basketball playoffs.
Unbeaten, top-ranked Eau Claire (24-0) hosts Broome (18-8) and Keenan (18-6) travels to face Region 2 champion Southside (23-4).
Eau Claire and Southside are both looking to erase the memory of bitter, last-second losses in the third round a year ago. The Shamrocks, who have not gone past the third round since 1999, dropped a gut-wrenching 54-53 decision to Strom Thurmond a year ago, while the Tigers from Greenville fell 49-47 to Pendleton.
The Shamrocks have had little trouble in playoff matters so far. After crushing Mid-Carolina in the first round, EC smacked Walhalla 68-43 in the next outing, jumping on the Razorbacks early and often on the way to a 41-11 halftime lead. Amelia Carrie tossed in 17 points for Eau Claire, Janae’ Stevenson rang up 16 points and nine rebounds and Eboni Ross chipped in nine points and seven boards.
Broome, which won two titles and played in three straight championship games in its first three years at the 2A level (2005-07), brings an 18-8 record into the state quarterfinal game. Madison Floyd (13.8 ppg), Tamyra Bell (13.3 ppg) and Jada Wallace (10.1 ppg) pace a balanced Centurions attack.
Keenan made it to the third round for the third time in the last four years by beating Pendleton 51-47 on the road in second-round play last week. Brittani Goodwin (18.2 ppg) and Daisha Eddy (14.6 ppg) are the top producers for Reggie McLain’s squad.
Southside eliminated Columbia, 63-36, in second-round action as Chelsea Walker (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Jasmine Franklin (12 points, 10 boards) rang up double doubles. The Tigers are a balanced bunch with four players averaging double figures – Walker (12.9 ppg), Nikki Young (12.5), Franklin (12.1) and McKenzie Weston (11.3).