Arguably the most competitive Class A boys basketball region in South Carolina will need a one-game playoff to decide its champion as Charleston Math & Science battles Lowcountry Leadership on Friday night at St. John’s High School.
Region 4-A has been so competitive this season that the league’s fifth-place team, Baptist Hill, has recorded wins over the top two teams. However, the two teams playing Friday have led the league from start to finish.
Each team has a win over the other during the regular season. Lowcountry Leadership forced the one-game playoff with a 51-43 win on Wednesday night. Charleston Math & Science won the first meeting, 50-48.
“It’s really like a state playoff game and it will be an awesome environment,” CMS coach Ryan Smith said. “In terms of the atmosphere and having something significant on the line, this is a really big game. We’re so close in terms of the matchup. Both teams have high expectations going into the playoffs next week so this game will be good for both of us.”
Lowcountry Leadership is in a one-game playoff for the second straight season after settling the region title with an extra game against Baptist Hill last season. Baptist Hill won in overtime.
“Hopefully we have learned some lessons and that will help us Friday but we know we face a quality opponent,” coach Jay Godbolt said. “This will be a huge game for both teams. Both teams want to hang a championship banner in their building so I imagine both teams will play very hard. We are very similar, almost mirror images of each other in terms of our size and our makeup.”
Both teams finished league play with 12-2 records. CMS is 17-5 overall while Lowcountry Leadership is 18-7. Both also feature balanced scoring and play tough team defense.
Leading the Riptide are guard Wendell Seabrook, shooting guard Rene Kravanja and forward Jalen Williams. Seabrook, a junior, leads the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game but Kravanja and Williams are right at double figures as well. Kravanja, a Slovenian exchange student who leads the team with 39 three-pointers, has scored 46 points in his last two games. Williams leads the team in rebounding.
Senior Donnell Bowens leads four players scoring in double figures for Lowcountry Leadership. Bowens averages nearly 20 points per game, with seniors Gregory Scott and Steven Britton scoring more than 11 points per game. Sophomore guard Clayton Schaffer adds a fourth scorer to the mix.
Seabrook and Bowens shared the region player of the year honor.
In the other local regions, the Goose Creek girls have clinched the 7-AAAAA title and remain the state’s top-ranked Class AAAAA team. Berkeley, ranked second in Class AAAAA boys, has clinched the Region 7-AAAAA.
In Region 8-AAAA, Fort Dorchester has clinched the girls region title while Ashley Ridge can claim the boys championship with a win over Stall on Friday. West Ashley and Ashley Ridge each have two league losses but Ashley Ridge beat West Ashley twice and holds the tie-breaker.
The Colleton County boys, under first-year head coach Matthew Mullins, has won the Region 7-AAAA championship.
The Bishop England girls finished undefeated in Region 7-AAA and enter the state playoffs with a 23-1 record and ranked No. 1 in AAA.
Oceanside Collegiate is the Region 6-AA champion after completing the league schedule with a 10-0 record. The Landsharks are 20-4 overall this season.
Burke won Region 6-AA in girls basketball, finishing a game ahead of North Charleston. Military Magnet won the girls title in Region 4-A.
More football signings
The Citadel picked up offensive lineman Tereis Drayton of James Island in December while Stall’s Hakim Drayton signed with Catawba.
West Ashley offensive lineman Terrence Frasier signed with North Carolina A&T and teammate Dominique Stevenson, a defensive back, signed with Savannah State.