High School Sports

CAJ faces North in key 4-1A outings

C.A. Johnson travels to Orangeburg County on Tuesday for a key Region 4-1A basketball doubleheader against the North Eagles.

The Green Hornets boys (11-9, 7-3) are currently tied for third place with North, just one game ahead of fifth-place Blackville-Hilda. Only the top four teams in the eight-school region advance to the small-school state playoffs. North won the first-half outing in Columbia, 70-51. The Eagles ended a two-game losing streak with a win over last-place Fox Creek on Friday.

The Hornets and Eagles still have a shot at winning the region championship, as both teams still have second-half games left against Hunter-Kinard-Tyler (9-1) and Williston-Elko (8-2). Tuesday’s loser, however, falls out of the title race, not to mention putting its playoff aspirations in jeopardy.

The CAJ girls (7-9, 6-4) can take a big step toward securing a state playoff berth with a win against the 4-6 Eagles. The Green Hornets nipped North 36-32 in the first meeting in Columbia last month. A favorable verdict would stake fourth-place CAJ to a three-game lead over fifth-place North with three region games left in the regular season.

Top-ranked Hunter-Kinard-Tyler (10-0) and Blackville-Hilda (9-1) have already wrapped up playoff berths. Williston-Elko (7-3) is in third place, one game ahead of the Green Hornets.