BY PHILIP M. BOWMAN

pbowman@postandcourier.com

Some fast starts in the Class AAAA playoffs might give the Aiken girls’ basketball team a fantastic finish to the season.

Once again, the Hornets jumped to a big lead. And, once again they pulled off the upset to advance to the Lower State championship.

Aiken raced to a 25-15 lead at the end of the first quarter at West Ashley tonight en route to a 75-51 victory over the state’s No. 2 team.

“This group is special,” Aiken coach Aubrey Pompey said. “We have four seniors who want to go out as winners. I told them to go out and give it their best. They have fun. I just try to stay out of their way.”

It was the same plot the Hornets used to beat Summerville. They led 18-7 at the end of the first quarter against Summerville, and upset the Green Wave 58-45. It was the same story in the first round against Blythewood. The Hornets led 16-11 en route to a 59-41 victory.

Aiken (75): Gilmore 11, Williams 6, Muir 13, Graham 11, Tyler 8, Odom 26,

West Ashley (51): Cohen 26, Wesolek 6, Stokes 4, Hardaway 13, McLemore 2.

Aiken 25 21 17 12 -- 75

West Ashley 15 7 20 9 -- 51

Records: West Ashley 22-2; Aiken 19-7.