Baxter's Blitz

Region 5-5A still has plenty of intrigue

Special to The State

Let’s take a closer look at the playoffs for the teams in the Midlands we feel have the best shot at going the farthest in Class 5A, the state’s largest classification.

Dutch Fork has the Region 5 title locked up, and is going to be facing a team in the first round that probably shouldn’t be in the playoffs, matching up with the sixth place team from Region 7, probably Ashley Ridge. Round 2 won’t be much more competitive. In round 3, the Silver Foxes will possibly see either Sumter or the No. 2 (Wando or Summerville) team from Region 7. If it’s Sumter, it’ll be a road game because the brackets are set up for that team to be home.

The important thing is, Dutch Fork is on the opposite side of the bracket and won’t face Fort Dorchester until the semifinals, if both make it that far.

I will say Spring Valley in the second spot, because I think they’ll beat Irmo this week, which would give them second in the region. They’ll face the fourth-place team from Region 7, probably West Ashley, in the first round.

Blythewood will get the third spot if Spring Valley beat Irmo. They’ll face the third-place team from Region 6, Carolina Forest. Both Spring Valley and Blythewood will be in the upper part of the Lower State bracket with Fort Dorchester eventually waiting.

Here’s where it gets messy.

Assuming Spring Valley beats Irmo, White Knoll gets in as the fourth-place team and Lexington gets in, even with a loss this week to Dutch Fork, as a fifth-place team.

So, White Knoll would travel to face the No. 2 team in Region 7, which will be the winner of this week’s Wando-Summerville game. Should they win that game on the road, they would more than likely travel to Sumter in round 2.

Lexington would travel to Sumter in the first round. Should they win that game, they would see the winner of the White Knoll vs. Wando/Summerville in the second round.

Should Spring Valley lose to Irmo this week, the scenarios for teams 2 through 5 change. Blythewood would move into the No. 2 spot, with Irmo taking the third spot. White Knoll would get No. 4, while Spring Valley would drop to the fifth spot, putting Lexington out of the playoffs.