Military Magnet, Northwood girls advance to state finals

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The Military Magnet girls basketball team advanced to the state championship game with Friday's win. Provided

For the first time in school history, the Military Magnet girls basketball team has advanced to the state championship game.

The Eagles will play for the Class A state title next Saturday at the Colonial Life Center in Columbia after winning the Lower State championship with a 51-43 win over Scott’s Branch on Friday afternoon in Florence. Scott’s Branch was the defending state champion.

“We played pretty well, handled the pressure well,” Military Magnet coach Nathaniel Taylor said. “Scott’s Branch slowed the tempo down and we couldn’t run like we wanted to. But we did a good job and handled it well. We shared the ball well.”

Freshman Kaelin Davis led the Eagles with 13 points, while Chazmin Bradley added 12 and Jataya Brown scored 10 points.

“It was a good game, as we expected it would be,” Taylor said. “They were the defending state champions and they played like a champion. We are happy that we have one more game.”

Military Magnet will play Upper State champion High Point Academy on Saturday at 10:30 p.m.

Northwood Academy’s girls also have eyes on a state championship and will get their opportunity on Saturday night in Sumter. Northwood and Cardinal Newman will meet to decide the SCISA Class AAA championship at the Sumter Civic Center.

Northwood (26-1) defeated Florence Christian 46-35 in a semifinal game on Friday night. Ke’Airra Gregory scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Alayah Birch added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Cardinal Newman, the defending state champion, defeated Porter-Gaud 60-38 in Friday’s other semifinal. Elise Pearson led Porter-Gaud with 14 points in her final game.

The boy team from Charleston Charter for Math and Science advanced to Friday’s Class A Lower State championship game but came up on the short end of a 64-57 loss to Scott’s Branch at the Florence Civic Center.

The Riptide (21-4) were led in scoring by J.J. Simmons, who scored 14 points. Dionte Williams added 13 points and Wendell Seabrook scored 10. The Riptide trailed 46-32 after three quarters before cutting the lead to six late in the fourth quarter. CMS outscored Scott’s Branch 25-18 in the fourth period.

First Baptist’s boys team also played for a spot in the SCISA Class AAA title game but lost its semifinal showdown with Trinity-Byrnes 41-36.

On Saturday, North Charleston’s girls and boys teams will play for Class AA Lower State championships at the Florence Civic Center.

The girls team will play Latta at 11 a.m., followed by the boys team taking on Whale Branch at 12:30 p.m.

Goose Creek and Wando will decide the Class AAAAA girls Lower State title at 5 p.m., at the Florence Civic Center.

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