Tuesday night in Region 5-3A girls basketball might well have been dubbed: The calm before the storm.
Dreher, Airport and Brookland-Cayce remained deadlock at 6-1 at the top of the standings, while the other three teams all fell to 1-6. The Blue Devils, Eagles and Bearcats are assured of state playoff invitations, but the final three games of the region campaign will determine the region championship.
It all begins on Friday when Dreher hosts Brookland-Cayce. The Bearcats topped Dreher 52-46 in the first half meeting on Jan. 16 as freshman Taylor Vinson dropped in 22 points. Next week, Airport hosts Dreher on Tuesday and closes out the regular season at B-C on Friday.
Tequila McKneal scored 20 points and Shakeina Smith tallied 10 in Dreher’s 51-44 Tuesday verdict at Midland Valley. Airport put a balanced whipping on Swansea, 50-38, with Taniqua Canzater and Jessica Ellison sharing scoring honors with 13 points, followed by Leanna Richardson (11) and Maya McCray (10). Shanique Brown’s 10 points topped the box score in Brookland-Cayce’s sluggish 35-20 win at home against South Aiken.
On the boys side, Dreher (15-5, 7-0) inched closer to securing the region championship with a 52-47 road win Tuesday at Midland Valley. The Blue Devils, who moved up to No. 6 in the last coaches association rankings, can clinch at least a tie for the region championship with a win Friday against last-place Brookland-Cayce.
In a typically balanced effort, James Whitehead paced Dreher at MV with 14 points, Quayshun Hawkin and Aaron Johnson tallied 13 points apiece.
Region 5-3A boys standings
Dreher 7-0; Swansea 5-2; South Aiken 4-3; Midland Valley 3-4; Airport 2-5; Brookland-Cayce 0-7.
Region 5-3A girls standings
Airport 6-1; Dreher 6-1; Brookland-Cayce 6-1; Midland Valley 1-6; Swansea 1-6; South Aiken 1-6.