The championship races in Region 4-3A basketball should be very interesting this season. The fun begins on Friday with three conference doubleheaders on tap.
Lower Richland’s boys and girls team make their official Class 3A debut at A.C. Flora, and both Diamond Hornets squads are heavy favorites to rule the new roost.
Elsewhere, Lugoff-Elgin hosts Chapin and Fairfield Central hits to road to face Chester.
The LR boys team (10-3) is paced by senior guard Preston Blackmon, who has named to the Chick-fil-A Classic all-tournament team. The three-time defending (4A) state LR girls squad (11-1) features all-state forward Morgan Stroman and guard Dayshaun Richbow. The Diamond Hornets girls have not lost to a South Carolina team since December of 2006.
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Fairfield Central appears to be the biggest threat to Lower Richland on the boys side, while Chapin might be the only team capable of giving the LR girls a run for the money. If not, the Eagles could find themselves in a scramble for second place with Chester and A.C. Flora, which is still without the services of star senior guard Tierra Knotts.
The FC Griffins are off to a 9-3 start – going 2-1 and losing only to eventual champion Washington County (Ga.) at the Taco Bell holiday tournament, splitting two games with Keenan and Class 1A power Great Falls. Anthony Craig, Dominique Welden, Marquise Robinson and Mikell Trapp have emerged as prime players. Craig poured in 28 points in FC’s most recent outing – a 90-84 overtime win against Dreher on Tuesday.