Lady Gamecocks begin state playoffs

Schaffer: 'Sound basketball' a must

BY DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 2/12/19

Jeff Schaffer likes where his Sumter High School varsity girls basketball team is heading into its first-round game in the 5A state playoffs today at 6:30 p.m. at the SHS gymnasium.“We’re …

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Lady Gamecocks begin state playoffs

Schaffer: 'Sound basketball' a must

Posted

Jeff Schaffer likes where his Sumter High School varsity girls basketball team is heading into its first-round game in the 5A state playoffs today at 6:30 p.m. at the SHS gymnasium.

“We’re in pretty good shape,” said Schaffer, whose team will take a 21-3 record into the contest. “Everybody is healthy, with the exception of Nina (Edlow, who has been out all season). With us being so young, we’ve really exceeded my expectations.”

The Lady Gamecocks went 6-2 in Region IV, finishing second to defending state champion Spring Valley. With the playoffs beginning, Schaffer thinks his team now has to focus on fundamentals.

“The big key for us now is to do the little things,” he said. “We’ve got to rebound, we’ve got to block out, we’ve got to be able to beat pressure. We have to play sound basketball.”

Rock Hill finished third in Region III. The Lady Bearcats are 13-12 overall and went 4-4 in region play. Schaffer said they could offer his team some challenges.

“One thing that could give us problems is they’re big and physical,” he said. “They also do a pretty good job with the press.”

There is no one player Sumter counts on offensively. CeCe Wells, Layken Cox, Tamerah Brown and Ki’Ari Cain – the team’s lone senior – are capable of putting up double figures at any time.

“We’ve got three or four people that we can count on for double figures,” said Schaffer, whose team is ranked fifth in 5A in the latest South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association poll. “That’s a good thing for us.”

The winner of the game will face the winner between No. 1 seed Dorman and No. 4 seed Westside on Friday.

The playoffs kick into high gear locally today with four girls teams playing and one boys team.

Girls

Crestwood at South Pointe, 6 p.m.

The Lady Knights will travel to Rock Hill to take on South Pointe in a game that was originally scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.

South Pointe is the No. 2 team in the SCBCA 4A poll, won the Region III title and is 22-4. Crestwood finished fourth in Region IV and is 11-12.

The winner will face either Blue Ridge or Walhalla on Friday.

Lakewood at Wilson, 7 p.m.

Lakewood received an at-large bid into the 4A playoffs and travels to Florence to take on Region VI champion Wilson.

Lakewood takes an 8-13 record into the game. Wilson, ranked No. 6 in 4A, is 19-3.

The winner will face either Beaufort or Midland Valley on Friday.

Eau Claire at Lee Central, 7 p.m.

The Lady Stallions wrapped up the Region IV title with a victory over Andrew Jackson High on Friday. Lee Central, ranked No. 10 in 2A, brings a 17-7 record into the game.

Eau Claire is 5-14 and finished fourth in Region III.

The winner will face either Brashier or Silver Bluff on Friday.

Timberland at East Clarendon, 7 p.m.

East Clarendon, the defending 1A state champion, will be trying to pull in a 2A crown this year. The Lady Wolverines are 19-2, won the Region VII title and are ranked No. 2 in 2A.

Timberland finished fourth in Region II at 5-5, but is 14-9 overall.

The winner will face either North Charleston or Allendale-Fairfax on Friday.

Boys

Military Magnet at Scott’s Branch, 7 p.m.

Scott’s Branch finished third in Region V and brings an 11-11 record into the game. Military Magnet finished fourth in IV and is 10-14.

The winner will play at Hemingway on Friday.