High School Sports

Girls playoffs: Jackets, Bengals, Shamrocks move on with Friday wins

Irmo, Blythewood and Eau Claire in the state girls playoffs playoffs with second-round win n Friday.

Irmo (19-7) defeated Region 5-4A rival North Augusta 56-46 at home to move on to the third round for the first time since 2004. The Yellow Jackets have a tough road test on tap Tuesday at Goose Creek. The 25-1 Gators eliminated Dutch Fork on Friday.

Irmo’s scoring balance more than offset a 28-point performance by North Augusta’s Kayla West. Brianna Stanton, who carries the Yellow Jackets to a first-round win over Beaufort earlier in the week with a 24-point outing, again led the team with 17 points. Center Sarah Green was close behind with 15 points and Brooke McCants, back in the pink after battling the flu, scored 11.

Blythewood (15-10), which entered the playoffs as the No. 4 seed out of Region 4-4A, scored its second straight road “upset” on Friday, downing Laurens 51-42 to earn a third-round shot at Spring Valley. The Vikings swept the Bengals during the region campaign.

Blythewood limited Laurens to just 15 points in the first half, but made the seven-point margin stand up the rest of the way. The Bengals had a 17-14 advantage in the fourth quarter. Kiki Gadsden led Blythewood with 17 points, LeAndra Culbertson had 16 and Ashleigh Edwards chipped in 13. Culbertson went 6-for-6 at the free-throw line, and Edwards fired in three 3-pointers.

Top-ranked Eau Claire is now the only Midlands entry left in the 2A state playoffs. The top-ranked Shamrocks toyed with visiting Walhalla 65-22 in second-round play on Friday. It was the 12th straight win for EC (23-2).

Amelia Carrie had 15 points for the winning Shamrocks, but the real story continues to be Eau Claire’s stellar defensive play. EC has allowed just 41 points in two playoff game, and only 97 in their last four games. The Shamrocks allowed Walhalla all-state player Tish Winchester to scored a meager five points.