Chapin and Dreher set up an interesting Friday battle by essentially keeping pace with each other on Tuesday in the increasingly interesting Region 5-3A boys basketball race.
The Friday confrontation at Dreher will have an impact on the upper echelon of the standings. Currently, Lower Richland, which was idle on Tuesday, has a 7-2 record and first place footing with three region games left in the regular season. Chapin, which beat Brookland-Cayce 62-55 on Tuesday, stands at 7-3 with two game to go. Dreher, a 59-50 winner over Airport on Tuesday, checks in at 6-3 with three games remaining.
Lower Richland, which returns to action Friday at home vs. last place A.C. Flora, closes out the region campaign next week against Midland Valley and at Airport. Chapin’s only game next week is Tuesday at Airport. Dreher plays at Midland Valley and Flora next week.
The only thing for certain as the stretch run begins is Lower Richland will claim the region championship if it wins out.
Chapin (12-8, 7-3) has now won four in a row after losing three of its first four games in January coming out of the holiday break. Michael Melvin (17 points), Brian Kidd (15) and Michael Weimer (12) helped the Eagles avenge a 72-62 loss to B-C on Jan. 4. The slumping Bearcats (6-13, 3-7) have lost seven in a row since downing Chapin a month ago.
Dreher (14-8, 6-3) received 21 points from Tyler Harris, 16 from Quayshun Hawkins and 11 from Kevin Branch in the taming of Airport, which fell to 7-12, 4-6. Ricardo Harris led the Eagles with 15 points.
Region 5-3A boys standings
Lower Richland 7-2, Chapin 7-3, Dreher 6-3, Midland Valley 4-5, Airport 4-6, Brookland-Cayce 3-7, A.C. Flora 2-7.
In girls play, A.C. Flora (13-7, 5-4) scored a 57-45 win at Midland Valley on Tuesday lock up a state playoff berth. Kyeshia Dawkins (17 points), Haniyyah Howard (13) and Allie Gaddis (12) led the way for the Falcons, who play at Lower Richland on Friday.
LR (16-3, 9-0) can clinch at least a tie for the region title with a win.
Region 5-3A girls standings
Lower Richland 9-0, Airport 8-2, Dreher 6-3, A.C. Flora 5-4, Midland Valley 2-7, Chapin 1-8, Brookland-Cayce 0-9.