Defending Class 4A state champion Dutch Fork is off to a 2-0 start even though South Carolina signee Alaina Coates has yet to play due to a knee injury. Morgan Williams (15 points, 11 rebounds), Sydney Shull (12 points) and Rose Robinson (11 points) carried the load in a 59-30 win over Blythewood on Friday. Shull was the lone double-digit producer (11 points) in Tuesday season-opening 42-38 win over corss-town rival Irmo.
Ridge View closed out an impressive 3-0 opening-week performance with a 55-45 win over first-year Westwood. All three triumphs came on the road. The 10-point winning margin against Westwood is deceiving. Ridge View needed a 17-8 run in the fourth quarter to finally subdue the host Redhawks. Jontay Mitchem (13 points), Alexus Jackson (12) and Briana Johnson (12) paced the Blazers. Jackson posted 14 points and 15 rebounds in RV’s season-opening 48-47 win at Keenan, while Mitchem and Johnson tallied 10 points apiece. The easiest game of the week proved to be on Wednesday at Lexington where the Blazers breezed to a 55-29 win. Jackson burned the Wildcats for 18 points and 11 boards.
Westwood’s inaugural week featured a 46-32 win over Richland Northeast in the first game in program history on Wednesday. Freshman Taylor Toney and sophomore Kayla Atkins paced the hot-shooting Redhawks. Toney fired in 17 points on 8-for-9 shooting from the field, while Atkins canned five of seven field goal attempts, finishing with 11 points. Westwood converted 21 of 42 field goal attempts overall.
Spring Valley (3-1) bounced back from a Tuesday loss to Orangeburg-Wilkinson to nip host Aiken 42-40 on Friday. Junior Cierra Carter had a big game with 15 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. The Vikings went 2-0 at the preseason Palmetto Rehab tip-Off Tournament in York. Carter tallied 20 points and Latisha Smith scored 14 in SV’s 63-35 win over Fort Mill in the tourney opener. In the second game, the Vikings jumped out to a 17-6 lead by the end of the first quarter, but had to sweat out a 47-46 win over Heathwood Hall. Carter again led the way with 19 points with 10-point backing from Akia Dunlap.
Lower Richland improved to -0 with a 63-47 win over Keenan on Friday. Breshay Johnson was the headliner with 24 points in the Diamond Hornets regular season opener. LR went 3-0 on the way to the A.C. Flora Tip-Off Tournament championship.
Heathwood Hall’s early season has been marred by an injury to junior star A’ja Wilson, who has yet to see action. Minus their leading scorer, rebounder and ball handler, the Highlanders are off to a 2-3 start. Heathwood split two games in the Palmetto Rehab Tip-Off Tournament in York, went 0-2 at the Charlotte Hoops Challenge and scored a 61-33 win over defending SCISA champion Pinewood Prep in the regular-season opener. With the 6-foot-5 Wilson on the shelf, juniors Gadson Lefft (13.6 ppg) and Vicky Dickerson (12.0 ppg) have picked up the scoring slack.
Irmo has had an interesting opening week. The Yellow Jackets played defending state champion Dutch Fork tough in the regular season lidlifter for both teams on Tuesday before falling 43-38. On Friday, the Jackets nipped Lexington 49-48. Irmo (3-2) had a 2-1 showing at the A.C. Flora Tip-Off Tournament. Sophomore Keasia Jackson (15.0 ppg, 3.0 apg), senior Briana Baylor (11.5 ppg) and sophomore Olivia Jabber (8.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) have been the Jacket leaders to date.
Chapin (2-3) got 21 points for Shaleighya Sulton and 14 from Dorothy-Faye Swygert in a 61-52 Friday win at Mid-Carolina. Sulton, a junior, is averaging 19.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.0 steals, 2.6 assists and 2.4 blocks per game, Swygert is next on the scoring list at 6.3 ppg and Madyson White has been a great help on the boards with an 8.0 average haul.
Richland Northeast rallied from a big early deficit to beat Cardinal Newman 33-31 and give former Eau Claire coach Precious Caldwell her first win at the Cavaliers helm. Sheress Rose did the bulk of the damage for RNE with 18 points.
Cardinal Newman is off to a 1-1 start under new coach Wanda Briley. Senior Margo Deyling shot 9-for-10 from the field on the way to 21 points in a season-opening 52-24 win over Spartanburg Day. Deyling also grabbed seven rebounds. Freshman Claire Edwards chipped in eight points and nine boards. But in Friday’s outing against Richland Northeast, the Cardinals could not make an 18-1 lead in the first quarter stand up the rest of the way. The visiting Cavaliers rallied for a 33-31 win.