Lower Richland and A.C. Flora open the Class 3A boys basketball state playoffs at home on Tuesday, while Dreher and Airport hit the road.
Sixth-ranked Lower Richland (16-8) won the Region 5-3A championship with an 11-1 conference record. The Diamond Hornets have been won or shared 10 consecutive region titles since missing the postseason cut in back-to-back seasons (2001 and 2002), and been a No. 1 seed nine times during the run. The Diamond Hornets, who welcome Marlboro County to the Diamond Mine in the first round, have won 17 straight playoff openers. Eric Eaves, Edward Stephens and Vincent Hicklin have been the Lower Richland leaders.
A.C. Flora (16-8) enters the playoffs on a roll – winning eight in a row down the stretch, including a triumph against Lower Richland. The Falcons finished second in Region 5-3A behind LR with a 10-2 conference record, earning them a home playoff date for the first time in 22 years. ACF hosts Crestwood in the first round and is looking to end a 15-game postseason losing streak. The Falcons’ last postseason win came against Belton Honea-Path in the first round of the 3A playoffs in 1991.
Dreher (13-12) plays at Hartsville, while Airport (12-11) hit the road to Darlington and a date with the second-ranked, Region 6 champion Falcons.