Three of the four Class AAAAA boys teams that qualified for the Lower State playoffs from the Lowcountry were eliminated with first-round losses on Tuesday night.
The lone survivor was Goose Creek, a 58-31 winner over Conway. The Gators improved to 12-0 on the season with the win and will host Dutch Fork in a second round game on Friday night.
TyKelvion Thompson led all scorers with 13 points to pace a balanced Goose Creek attack. Demetri Simmons added 12 points, while Yaturi Bolton and Xavion Bennett scored 9 and 8 points, respectively.
“I thought we were tight early, at least offensively, but we settled down,” Goose Creek coach Blake Hall said. “I didn’t think we were sharp offensively the whole night but got a little spurt there in the third quarter. I love the kids. I’m just trying to enjoy every moment I have with this team.”
The Gators led throughout the contest, but Conway made a game effort after the first quarter, trailing 11-10. Goose Creek began to wear the Tigers down in the second quarter, opening a 31-18 halftime lead. The contest remained a double-digit spread throughout the second half.
While the flow and rhythm offensively was below the norm, the Gators used their athleticism and defensive prowess to pull away.
“We have enough depth where there is no need to save any energy,” Hall said. “I thought the third quarter run, really by our second group, was really a difference maker.”
Friday’s opponent, Dutch Fork, took down West Ashley 84-59.
“They’re a region champion, and luckily we get them at home,” Hall said. “You just gotta be sharp when you play this time of year.”
Another of the area’s unbeaten teams, Fort Dorchester, was upset on Tuesday night, falling to River Bluff 58-41. Wando, the runner-up to Goose Creek in Region 7-AAAAA, lost at Carolina Forest 78-53.
In Class A girls action, defending Lower State champion Military Magnet, ranked third in Class A, went on the road and beat fourth-ranked East Clarendon 67-58.
In SCISA, Northwood Academy’s girls advanced to the Class AAA semifinals with an easy 67-28 win over Augusta Christian. The First Baptist girls, however, were eliminated in Class AAA by Florence Christian 57-49. Porter-Gaud’s girls were eliminated by defending state champion Cardinal Newman.
The Cathedral Academy boys advanced in Class A with a 90-71 win over Andrew Jackson Academy.
Wednesday playoff schedule
Class AAA boys
Marlboro County at Bishop England, 6:30 p.m.
Oceanside Collegiate at Orangeburg-Wilkinson, 7 p.m.
Class AA girls
Marion at Philip Simmons, 7 p.m.
Class A boys
Carver’s Bay at Baptist Hill, 6 p.m.
SCISA AAA boys (At Sumter Civic Center)
Hammond vs. Porter-Gaud, 2 p.m.
Northwood vs. Cardinal Newman, 4 p.m.
Augusta Christian vs. First Baptist, 6 p.m.