PREP BASEBALL

Five local teams begin quest for state baseball titles

Five local baseball teams - including Crestwood High School for the first time in program history - will begin play in the South Carolina High School League state playoffs on Tuesday. Sumter will be in the 5A playoffs, Crestwood and Lakewood the …

JA WATCH

Honors keep pouring in for Ja Morant

The honors continue to pour in for former Crestwood High School basketball standout and Murray State consensus All-American Ja Morant. Morant, the 6-foot-3-inch point guard who has declared for the National Basketball Association draft after a …

Former Crestwood standout Ja Morant goes over the top of two volunteers during a dunk demonstration on Monday at the Ja Morant Day celebration at Crestwood High School.

Ja Morant is built to handle all that has - and will - come his way

As Ja Morant absorbed everything that was part of Ja Morant Day on Monday at Crestwood High School, there was one thing that was very obvious: he was very comfortable in the moment. And one could say Morant should be comfortable in the moment by …

PHOTOS BY MICAH GREEN / THE SUMTER ITEMJa Morant brings the basketball down low before throwing down a dunk during a demonstration to cap off Ja Morant Day on Monday at Crestwood’s The Castle.

City, county celebrate Ja Morant Day

The Crestwood High School gymnasium, long known as The Castle, was abuzz on Monday afternoon because Ja Morant was in the house. A building he had filled with noise many times over while becoming the leading scorer in Crestwood boys basketball …

Monday is Ja Morant Day

The place where Ja Morant first made himself noticed as a basketball player is where he will be honored on Monday as he looks toward a career in the National Basketball Association. Ja Morant Day will be held on Monday at Crestwood High School …

MORANT

Monday is Ja Morant Day all over Sumter

Both the city and county of Sumter will celebrate Murray State consensus All-American basketball player Ja Morant on Monday with Ja Morant Day. Morant, the former Crestwood High School standout, burst on to the college basketball scene this year. …

Local Sports

Coker grand slam lifts Sumter to 11-1 win over Ben Lippen; LMA beats ACS

CAMDEN - Wylie Coker hit a grand slam home run to spur a 9-run third inning to lead the Sumter High School varsity baseball team to an 11-1, 5-inning win over Ben Lippen on Thursday in the Camden High School Spring Break Tournament at the CHS …

Manning tennis standouut Shanyia Gamble signs a letter of intent to play for USC Sumter during a recent signing ceremony at the school.

Manning tennis standout Gamble picks USC Sumter

MANNING - Sometimes it just runs in the family. Manning High School tennis standout Shanyia Gamble, the daughter of former Manning High baseball standout Freddie Gamble, signed to play tennis with the University of South Carolina Sumter last week …

Sumter County workers were busy pouring new concrete tee boxes such as this one at the beginning of the daunting 16th hole at Dillon Park's 20-hole disc golf course, an island hole at the far end of the flooded area in front of the box. The course is the site of Saturday's Sumter Showdown Disc Golf Tournament.

Sumter Showdown disc golf tourney set for Saturday at Dillon Park course

A slightly revamped disc golf course at Dillon Park awaits competitors in this weekend's 7th annual Sumter Showdown Disc Golf Tournament. The tournament, which is the Sumter City Disc Golf Club's opportunity to showcase its home course and …

Posey pitches Sumter past Camden 8-3 in Spring Break tourney

CAMDEN - Seth Posey tossed six innings of shutout baseball to lift the Sumter High School varsity team to an 8-3 victory over North Central on Wednesday in the Camden High School Spring Break Tournament at the CHS field. Posey allowed just three …

Two coaches to speak at Citadel Club meeting

The Citadel football head coach Brent Thompson and men's basketball head coach Duggar Baucom will be in Sumter on Tuesday to speak to the local chapter of The Citadel Club. Thompson and Baucom, as well as someone from the athletic department will …

From the Wire

Former Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis in March. Wilkins could be headed to Atlanta to help bolster the Falcons' line.

After tough season, Falcons facing greater urgency in draft

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons spent the past couple of drafts filling in the pieces on a team with championship aspirations. This time around, they're coming off a hugely disappointing season that turned up the heat on coach Dan Quinn …

Dustin Johnson owns a 1-shot lead over three other golfers after three rounds of the RBC Heritage on Saturday at Hilton Head Island.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson leads Heritage

HILTON HEAD ISLAND - Dustin Johnson, known for length off the tee, showed off his precise ball-positioning and hot putter Saturday to take the RBC Heritage lead. Johnson shot a 3-under 68 for a one-shot lead over Shane Lowry, Ian Poulter and Rory …

Boston guard Jaylen Brown (7) and the Celtics will try to complete a sweep of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against Indiana today in Indianapolis.

Celtics can sweep; Warriors, Raptors, Blazers aiming at 3-1

ORLANDO, Fla. - The stars have been stars in these playoffs. Kyrie Irving has Boston on the cusp of sweeping away Indiana Pacers. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Golden State are coming off a game against the Los Angeles Clippers where the …

Denver forward Torrey Craig (3) dunks during the Nuggets' 117-103 victory over San Antonio In Game 4 of their Western Conference playoff series on Saturday in San Antonio.

Nuggets knock off Spurs 117-103 to even series

SAN ANTONIO - Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 12 rebounds, Jamal Murray added 24 points and the Denver Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs 117-103 on Saturday night, rebounding from a flat performance tie the first-round series at two games …

Atlanta's Nick Markakis watches his ball after hitting a sacrifice  fly in the Braves' 8-4 loss to Cleveland in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday in Cleveland.

Judge hurts oblique, likely to injured list; Yankees top KC 9-2

NEW YORK - All-Star slugger Aaron Judge hurt his left oblique while taking a swing and likely was headed to the injured list as the already banged-up New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 9-2 Saturday. Judge homered early, but hurt himself …

CLEMSON

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence will be one of few returning QBs in the ACC this season as other teams try to replace their field generals lost to graduation, transfer, early NFL draft declaration or disciplinary issues.

ACC teams look to answer questions at quarterback

RALEIGH, N.C. - Dabo Swinney's quarterback situation at Clemson seems settled for a while. Not many of his colleagues around the Atlantic Coast Conference can say the same thing. Ten schools faced questions of varying degrees of urgency at QB …

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, shown holding the national championship trophy, will be one of the speakers at Prowl & Growl on May 2 at Florence Center in Florence.

Swinney, Brownell to speak at Prowl & Growl on May 2 at Florence Center

If you're a Clemson University fan still relishing in the Tigers winning the 2018 college football national title, you'll have a chance to celebrate with other Clemson fans from the Pee Dee - and head coach Dabo Swinney - on May 2. Clemson will …

Clemson's Justyn Ross (8) rushes after a reception as Joseph Charleston (18) and Derion Kendrick (1) defend during Clemson's annual Orange and White football spring scrimmage Saturday in Clemson.

Retooled Clemson D has strong spring

CLEMSON - Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons accepts that many are concerned over the Tigers changing defense from its latest national championship. He's not among them. The 6-foot-4 junior is supremely confident Clemson will excel despite losing …

THE ASSOCIATED PRESSMississippi State center Teaira McCowan (15) shoots a layup past Clemson forward Tylar Bennett (55) during the first half of a second-round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Starkville, Miss., Sunday, March 24, 2019.

McCowan, Mississippi State end Clemson's year with 85-61 win

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Teaira McCowan could feel the Clemson defense wearing down and the 6-foot-7 senior sensed the weakness immediately, carving out a perfect position under the hoop. There was no need for Mississippi State to get fancy. Everyone …

Clemson guard Aliyah Collier (12) attempts a shot while South Dakota guard Chloe Lamb (22) tries to block during a first round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Starkville, Miss., Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State expects tough 2nd-round battle from Clemson

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's NCAA Tournament opener was the typical No. 1 seed vs. No. 16 seed romp. The Bulldogs scored 37 points in the first quarter, 6-foot-7 Teaira McCowan attempted her first career 3-pointer (she missed) and …

USC

LAWSON

AJ Lawson declares for NBA draft

COLUMBIA (AP) - South Carolina guard A.J. Lawson is declaring for the NBA draft. He is not signing with an agent and leaving open the option to return to school. Lawson, who made the all-Southeastern Conference freshman team this season, …

AP FILE PHOTO  South Carolina running back and former Crestwood High School standout,  Ty'Son Williams (27), announced on Sunday he would spend his final season of college football with Brigham Young University.

Former Crestwood's Ty'Son Williams chooses 'best fit' for last year - BYU

Former Crestwood High School standout running back Ty'Son Williams will spend his final season of college football playing with Brigham Young University. Williams, who played the past two seasons with the University of South Carolina before …

Then-Georgia tailback Thomas Brown (20) is trying to teach some of his moves to South Carolina's running backs in his role as the new USC running backs coach.

New USC RB coach Brown looks to boost Gamecocks ground game

COLUMBIA - South Carolina coach Will Muschamp has struggled to build a running game. He's turning to one of Georgia's all-time leading rushers to turn that around. Muschamp named former Bulldogs standout and assistant coach Thomas Brown to lead …

Baylor's Lauren Cox (15) is fouled by South Carolina's Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (21) during the second half of the Bears' 93-68 win in a regional semifinal game in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Baylor beats South Carolina 93-68, returns to Elite 8

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Kim Mulkey has led Baylor to two national titles, so she knows the traits a contender ought to have. "We're on a roll, and that's what it takes in the playoffs," Mulkey said. "You need to get on a roll, you need to stay healthy …

South Carolina guard Tyasha Harris (52) goes up for a basket against Florida State during the second half of the Lady Gamecocks' second-round victory in the NCAA women's basketball tournament in Charlotte on Sunday.

South Carolina faces top-seeded Baylor in NCAAs

COLUMBIA - South Carolina coach Dawn Staley doesn't enjoy watching her last game against Baylor, even as the Gamecocks prepare for another shot at the top-seeded Lady Bears in the Sweet 16 this week. It was sickening showing for Staley, her team …

Outdoors

Landowners Marvin Davant, Hugh Ryan and SCDNR Officer Ed Laney are seen at the posted entrance to a rural property.

Make a presence

Recently, I attended a meeting of some local landowners and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officers at a site in western Sumter County. The reason for the meeting was to discuss options for securing rural …

A mixed pair of trillium grow on a wooded property near New Market, Virginia, in 2011. The yellow trillium, foreground, gives off a lemony scent while the white trillium in the rear generally is found growing wild in drifts ranging from a few dozen to several hundred from Ontario to Georgia.

Wildflowers are robust, low maintenance, attract insects

Gardeners trying to lure pollinators to their landscape would be wise to mimic nature and plant wildflowers. The attractive perennials tolerate harsh climates, seldom need fertilizing and resist most diseases and insect pests. Wildflowers are …

SCDNR boat title, license sales moving in May to The Market

The last day for boat titling/registration and all license sales at the Dennis Building in Columbia will be May 9. Starting on May 13, all services will be available at SCDNR at The Market.This move comes as an effort to provide better customer …

Extras
TV SCHEDULE, STANDINGS & MORE - APRIL 21

TV, RADIO TODAY 8:25 a.m. - International Soccer: English Premier League Match - Manchester United vs. Everton (NBC SPORTS NETWORK). 8:30 a.m. - Women's College Golf: Southeastern Conference Championship from Birmingham, Alba. (SEC …

TV SCHEDULE, STANDINGS & MORE - APRIL 19

TV SCHEDULE, STANDINGS & MORE - APRIL 18

TV SCHEDULE, STANDINGS & MORE - APRIL 17

TV SCHEDULE, STANDINGS & MORE - APRIL 14