Local SCISA teams advance to state finals

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The Lowcountry will have its share of contenders in Saturday’s SCISA state basketball championships being held in Sumter.

Northwood Academy’s girls will take on Hammond in a battle of the state’s top two AAA teams. Northwood advanced to the AAA state championship game with a 53-24 win over Wilson Hall in Friday’s semifinal matchup. The Chargers are in the finals for the fifth time in six years and lost to Heathwood Hall in overtime in last season’s title game.

Senior forward Erica Martin scored 14 points to lead all scorers. Sophomore Jailah Melvin added nine points while junior guard Katelyn Powell and eighth-grade center Angel Middleton each scored eight points.

Hammond defeated First Baptist, 50-42, in the other semifinal. First Baptist was led by Jonai Grant’s 17 points. McKala Rhodes added 10 points.

Northwood (25-6) and Hammond (21-6) opened the season as the top two ranked teams in AAA.

Pinewood Prep’s boys came up short in their bid to reach the AAA finals, falling to Hammond School, 81-66. The Panthers, who were 12-12 earlier this season, finished the season at 19-14.

Hammond, the top-ranked team in AAA, will take on second-ranked Northwood Academy in the AAA boys finals. The Chargers advanced with a 56-39 win over Wilson Hall on Friday night. Eighth-grade forward Jamal Edmonson paced Northwood with 23 points while Daquan Ancrum added 12.

Palmetto Christian’s girls will play in the AA state championship game against Hilton Head Christian on Saturday. PCA defeated Spartanburg Day, 34-33, on Thursday night. Corey Caulder led all scorers with 26 points.