Lexington takes on defending Class 4A state boys basketball state champion Goose Creek in the Lower State championship game Friday at 8 p.m. at The Citadel’s McAlister Field House.
The Wildcats (24-5) are looking for a return to the state championship game for the first time since defeating Marlboro County 61-57 in the 2000 title bout. Goose Creek (23-3) is riding a 14-game winning streak and has won eight straight playoff games.
Sophomore Shaq Roland and the senior trio of David Burns, Adrian Wigfall and Corey Hendren have been Lexington’s driving forces in playoff wins against Dutch Fork, Berkeley and Sumter.
Roland, who averaged 18.3 points a game during the regular season, is at 21.0 ppg in the playoffs, including a 34-point explosion in the overtime win against Berkeley. Burns scored at a 9.6 ppg clip in the regular season, but has increased that mark dramatically to 20.7 ppg in the playoffs – tallying 23 vs. Berkeley, 22 against Sumter. Wigfall has also upped his production in the playoffs after averaging 7.3 points during the regular season. In three playoff games, he’s at 11.0 ppg. Hendren, who drained a key late 3-pointer against Sumter, is averaging 12.3 points in the playoffs, up from the 8.5 ppg mark he had during the regular campaign.
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Goose Creek, which has jumped up to elite class during the 2000s under coach Brad Dobbels, blasted Fort Dorchester 63-39 in the third round after pulling out come-from-behind wins in the early rounds.
As usual, the Gators rely on a deep rotation to get the job done. Devontae Wright is the lone GC player with a double-figure scoring average (15.4 ppg), but four other Gators chip in between 7.7 and 8.8 points a game.