Heathwood Hall avenged two regular season losses to Orangeburg Prep on Tuesday at the Sumter Exhibition Center, downing the Indians 44-40 to move on to the SCISA Class 3A semifinals.
The Highlanders (15-10) will take on Hilton Head Prep (28-3) on Friday at 3 p.m. in Sumter for the chance to play for a state championship on Saturday.
Eighth-grader A’ja Wilson lead the way for Heathwood, pouring in 26 points in the gratifying win over OP, which defeated the Highlanders by scores of 42-40 and 48-40 in non-region games during the regular campaign. No other Highlander had more than five points in the game.
Heathwood Hall, under first-year coach John O’Cain, takes powerhouse HHP, which is highly motivated to regain the SCISA throne after seeing their four-year reign end last season. The Dolphins beat the Highlanders in the 2008 title bout when HH featured another eight-grade sensation, Asia Dozier who is now tearing it up at Spring Valley.
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HHP defeated Porter-Gaud 50-36 in the quarterfinals last night as Jill Brunori scored 23 points and HHP’s relentless defensive pressure forced 38 Cyclones turnovers. The Dolphins were without two top players who were sitting out with injuries, but Kate Brunori and Kathleen Blum are expected to be back on Friday.