The Columbia and Eau Claire girls and boys basketball teams square off at A.C. Flora tonight to break ties in the Region 3-2A standings.
In the opener, Columbia and EC will be playing for the region’s No. 1 state playoff seed after the team finished tied for first place at the end of the regular season. Eau Claire created the deadlock at the top by defeating the Capitals 48-46 on Tuesday, avenging a 45-44 loss to Columbia on Jan. 18.
The contenders closed out the regular season with wins on Thursday.
Columbia (17-3, 9-1) topped Keenan 56-45 behind the balanced contributions of Rose Robinson (18 points), Norisha Victrum (15) and Brittany Pimpeton (14). Eau Claire (17-5, 9-1) dumped Gilbert 49-32 as Eboni Ross scored a team high 14 points.
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No matter the outcome, the Capitals and Shamrocks will both open the Class 2A state playoffs at home on Tuesday. Keenan (16-7, 6-4) will be on the road as a No. 3 seed.
In boys play last night, Columbia, which moved into title contention after downing Eau Claire 69-65 on Tuesday, saw its title bid denied at Keenan. The host Raiders secured the outright championship with a 72-61 win. Quinton Johnson led the typically balanced Keenan scoring attack with 18 points, followed by Eric Washington (17), Eric Hopkins (16) and Trey Stroman (11). Justin Metze tallied a game high 23 points, Marcus Praylow added 17 and McArtha Thompson chipped in 10 for Columbia. Eau Claire, meanwhile, righted the ship somewhat with a 67-34 rout of winless Gilbert as A.J. Caldwell and Jamison Reed scored 14 points apiece.
Columbia (12-10, 7-3) and Eau Claire (15-7, 7-3) finished in a tie foe second place, which means tonight’s verdict will determine which teams rates a home date or a road trip in the first round of the playoffs on Wednesday.
The Batesburg-Leesville and Gilberts boys and girls teams failed to make the postseason cut. Though the B-L boys did close out on a positive note with a 64-61 win over playoff-bound Strom Thurmond. Ricky Adams led the Panthers (9-14, 3-7) with 19 points, Quinn Brunson tallied 15 and Tyrell Leaphart contributed 10.
In Region 2-2A, Newberry’s boys and girls teams are in, but the two Mid-Carolina teams are out. Newberry’s girls (11-9, 7-3) finished in second place behind Broome and will host a first round playoff game. The Bulldogs boys squad (12-11, 7-3) finished in a second-place tie with Emerald. The teams play tonight at Saluda under the same circumstances as Columbia vs. Eau Claire.
Newberry’s boys closed out the regular season with a 79-74 overtime win at Mid-Carolina. Jalin Alexander carried the Bulldogs with a 34-point performance. Alexander scored 17 in Newberry’s similarly critical 54-50 win at home against Emerald on Tuesday.
The Bulldog girls closed out the regular season with a 48-32 win over their county rivals. Tyndell Mendenhall (14 points), Arnasia Boyd (13) and Lesa Sims (11) led the Newberry scoring parade.
Mid-Carolina’s boys finished with a 9-15 overall record, 2-8 in region play, while the girls checked out at 3-17, 1-9.
In Region 5-2A, Swansea’s boys and girls qualified, but Pelion’s two did not. Both Tigers teams open the Lower State playoffs on the road – the boys as a No. 3 seed, the girls as a No. 4.
Region 3-2A boys standings
Keenan 9-1, Columbia 7-3, Eau Claire 7-3, Strom Thurmond 4-6, Batesburg-Leesville 3-7, Gilbert 0-10.
Region 3-2A girls standings
Columbia 9-1, Eau Claire 9-1, Keenan 6-4, Strom Thurmond 4-6, Batesburg-Leesville 1-9, Gilbert 1-9.
Region 2-2A boys standings
Broome 9-1, Emerald 7-3, Newberry 7-3, Woodruff 4-6, Mid-Carolina 2-8, Saluda 1-9.
Region 2-2A girls standings
Broome 10-0, Newberry 7-3, Saluda 5-5, Woodruff 4-6, Emerald 3-7, Mid-Carolina 1-9.
Region 5-2A boys standings
Wade Hampton 9-1, Silver Bluff 8-2, Swansea 6-4, Edisto 5-5, Barnwell 2-8, Pelion 1-9.
Region 5-2A girls standings
Silver Bluff 9-0, Barnwell 6-3, Wade Hampton 6-3, Swansea 5-5, Pelion 2-7, Edisto 0-10.