Region 4 champion Irmo and Ridge View joined Lexington and Richland Northeast in the Class 4A state boys basketball winner’s circle on Wednesday.
On the other hand, Spring Valley and White Knoll suffered the same fate as Blythewood – seeing their respective seasons come to an end after suffering first-round losses on the road.
Irmo (23-3) may not have shot the ball well in the postseason opener, but the Yellow Jackets swarming defense was stellar. The result was an easy 66-33 triumph over visiting Northwestern. The Jackets limited the Trojans to just 12 points in the first half while building a commanding 34-12 lead at the break.
Jordan Roper (15 points), Jeremy Clinkscales (10) and Josh Clinkscales (9) took care of the bulk of the scoring. In all, 11 players contributed points to the cause.
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Irmo hosts Hillcrest on Saturday in second-round action. The Rams from Simpsonville crushed Wren 72-47 last night. The Yellow Jackets are now 43-25 in postseason games since the start of the so-called modern era in 1971. The 43 triumphs stands as the 10th highest playoff win total overall, and is the highest among all current 4A teams.
Ridge View, a No. 3 seed, was a bit miffed to be drawing a region champion in the first round, but the Blazers turned that indignation back on the Wando Warriors. John Combs’ club (18-6) defeated the Region 7 champion Warriors 57-51.
The Blazers’ aggressive defense hounded Wando, which won 22 games and the Roundball Classic title, into a 33 percent shooting performance. Jared Johnson’s 22 points led the way for Ridge View, and Stephen Rembert added 11. Rembert’s tally early in the third quarter put the Blazers ahead for keeps, 29-28.
Ridge View, which has won seven in a row, moves on to the second round and another tough road test on Saturday at Aiken. The Green Hornets thump Ashley Ridge 72-48 in last night’s first round action.
White Knoll (18-8) and Spring Valley (11-13) were shown the door.
White Knoll carried a 30-26 lead into the fourth quarter at Summerville, but the host Green Wave rallied to bag a 50-38 win. Seniors Xen Singleton and Quinton Creed both scored 10 points for the Timberwolves in their final prep games.
Spring Valley season came to and end with a 66-46 loss at Sumter. The host Gamecocks bolted to a 40-22 halftime lead and was on cruise control from there. Senior Jonathon Garrett led the Vikings with 12 points, and 6-foot-6 junior Kristófer Acox chipped in with 11.