West Ashley let a 12-point lead slip away in the third quarter against Fort Dorchester on Wednesday night, but the Wildcats survived to play another day with a 53-42 victory in the first round of the boys’ Class AAAA state playoffs.

The Patriots put up a good effort with a rally and finally tied the score with 7:34 left in the game when Charles Johnson hit a free throw to tie the score at 34-34. But the Wildcats went on an 11-4 run that was highlighted by two big baskets by Avery Zorn. He hit a shot with 2:53 left to give his team a 42-38 lead and followed it up with a basket from 3-point land to push the lead to seven.

West Ashley, which outscored the Patriots 17-8 in the final 6:01, upped its record to 20-5.

Fort Dorchester (42): Moorer 16, Staggers 13, Hayward 4, Johnson 4, Munoz 5.

West Ashley (53): Glenn 5, Sobiesuo 18, Zorn 7, Brown 6, June 8, Palmer 2, Fields 7.

Fort Dorchester 10 8 13 11 - 42

West Ashley 10 16 8 19 - 53

Records: West Ashley 20-5.