The Item’s Wednesday Watch is a weekly look at the buzz around tri-county sports. The Item sports staff will pick its most noteworthy stories, stats and quotes for the week.
1. USC women …
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1. USC women beat UCONN for first time
Last week’s ranking: #5
The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team cemented itself as the top team in the country on Monday, earning their first win over the University of Connecticut in program history 70-52.
2. Bates MS boys and girls win titles
Last week’s ranking: #4
The Bates MS boys and girls basketball teams each finished first in the Sumter Middle School Conference tournament on Saturday. The boys defeated Alice Drive 55-34, while the girls beat R.E. Davis 34-30. Both teams were undefeated in the conference.
3. Local football players sign for college
Last week’s ranking: Unranked
Football players from Sumter, Crestwood, Lakewood, Manning, Lee Central and Laurence Manning Academy signed to play college football last Wednesday, which is also known as National Signing Day. A total of 16 student athletes signed to continue their careers last week.
4. Scott’s Branch teams both win regions, ranked 2nd
The Scott’s Branch boys and girls basketball teams both defeated C.E. Murray last week to clinch region championship in Region 1A-V. The girls team maintained their second place ranking in the SCBCA Top 10 in 1A, while the boys moved up from third to second.
5. Ja Morant records first NBA triple-double
Last week’s ranking: #3
Former Crestwood star Ja Morant recorded the first triple-double of his NBA career with a 27-point, 10-assist and 10-rebound performance in the Memphis Grizzlies’ 106-99 win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday. The Grizzlies hold the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Leondria Nelson racked up 50 points for Manning in its win over Hanahan on Friday.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“They had us picked to win 26 games this year. That’s a chip right there, and we just passed that tonight. But the chip won’t leave.”
- Ja Morant on the Grizzlies’ drive to prove doubters wrong
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