In all, 15 Midlands boys and girls basketball teams survived first-round testing in the state basketball playoffs.
The next step begins on Thursday for three girls teams – undefeated Lower Richland (3A), defending state champion Dreher (3A) and C.A. Johnson (1A).
Second-ranked Lower Richland (22-0) hosts Walhalla (18-7) after breezing by Southside 44-22 in the postseason opener as junior Breshay Johnson scored 12 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, blocked two shots and came up with eight steals. Johnson is averaging 12.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Jasmine Richardson (8 points, 7 assists, 3 steals) and Christian Brown (5 points, 9 rebounds) also joined in the fun.
A 132-mile, two and a half hour drive did not fazed Walhalla on Monday. The Razorbacks got off the bus and blasted host Chester 75-38 behind a 25-point performance by Heather Jankowy. The rout began with a 25-6 burst in the first quarter. The trip to face the Diamond Hornets will be longer (164 miles, 2 hours, 45 minutes) and the challenge of winning will be much greater for the Razorbacks, who have not made it past the second round since 2001.
Dreher (20-6) hosts Seneca, a 44-40 upset winner over Region 3 champion Union County. The Blue Devils had perhaps its best overall performance in more than two months in a 66-33 first-round rout of Blue Ridge. Insiders Makayla Johnson (17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 4 steals, 2 assists) and Jhileiya Dunlap (16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks) dominated and Kaydra Duckett finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
In Class 1A, C.A. Johnson (8-13) scored a first-round win for the third years in a down, this time dispatching host Fox Creek 48-27. The Green Hornets have never made it past the first round, so they are looking to make history with an upset win against Region 1 champion McCormick.