High School Sports

Five Midlands teams left standing in mat playoffs

Lexington, Lugoff-Elgin, Chapin, Airport and Swansea continue their quests for state championships as playoff action resumes on Monday night.

Lexington (25-8) is the only Midlands team left standing in the Class 4A playoffs, and faces a stern task in third round tonight when its hosts mighty Fort Dorchester, coached by former Irmo and Dutch Fork mentor B.D. LaPrad. The Patriots, 15-2 and ranked No. 1 by scmat.com, are on a mission after abdicating the 4A throne last season to Rock Hill. Fort D drubbed Lexington 52-10 at the Wildcat Duals in December. The Patriots beat Lexington 37-27 in last season’s Lower State championship match.

The 10th-ranked Wildcats breezed by Richland Northeast (75-3) and Stratford (46-18) last week to advance to the third round of the state playoffs for the sixth time in eight tries since 2003.

Lugoff-Elgin, 18-3 and ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, hosts West-Oak (26-4) in an Upper State semifinals match. The Demons crushed Chapman 69-4 in the playoff opener last week.

Chapin, 32-2 and ranked No. 3 in 3A, has a long road trip to face fourth-ranked Belton-Honea Path (35-2) in what figures to be a very close match. The Eagles and Bears wrestled to a 30-30 draw already this season with Chapin being awarded a 31-30 criteria decision win.

In the Class 3A Lower State bracket, Airport (17-4) hosts Hilton Head (31-6). The visiting Seahawks were ranked No. 1 in January before losing to Lugoff-Elgin and enter the second-round bout as a heavy favorite. The 13th-ranked Eagles advanced with a first-round win over Darlington. Swansea (9-8) has an even tough challenge when it travels to face No. 2 Bluffton. The Tigers survived first-round testing with a 43-42 upset of Region 6-3A champion Camden. Bluffton was a 71-6 winner over the Tigers in a prior meeting this season.

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