The way this year’s South Carolina High School League basketball playoff schedule was set up, it didn’t take long to whittle down the contenders.
With just eight teams remaining in each bracket after two rounds in three days, just two of the 14 area teams that qualified for the postseason are still standing for the quarterfinals.
On the boys’ side, the lone remaining team is Midland Valley (23-4). The Mustangs went on the road on Saturday and took down host Orangeburg-Wilkinson 38-34 to move on to the third round of the Class AAA bracket. In that game, Daniel Carr and Taijha Turner had 10 points each to lead the Mustangs to victory.
Midland Valley will travel again on Wednesday, this time headed for the coast to face Myrtle Beach (22-6). The Seahawks were ranked No. 1 in Class AAA in the last coaches’ poll, released on Feb. 11, and they’ve lost just one game since. They dropped Berkeley 72-52 in the first round and beat Hartsville 65-56 on Saturday to get this far in the postseason.
The Mustangs were No. 10 in the most recent ranking, and a win over Myrtle Beach would mark the second top-ranked team Midland Valley has beaten after toppling Class AA competitor Newberry in its own holiday tournament.
For the girls, Ridge Spring-Monetta (18-4) thrashed Dixie 42-13, with Crystal Preston matching the entire visiting squad with 13 points on her own.
The Lady Trojans – last ranked No. 5 – will now host Lamar (11-12) on Tuesday in a battle of region champions. Like the Lady Trojans in Region 4-A, the Silver Foxes moved through Region 3-A with an unblemished record. They began their playoff run with a 63-33 win over the No. 4 seed out of Region 4-A, North, and then beat Christ Church 43-33 on Saturday.
Both games are set for 7 p.m. according to brackets released by the SCHSL.
Regardless of the outcome, this round will mark the last time teams will take the court at on-campus sites. The Upper and Lower State championship round, set for Friday and Saturday, will take place at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville for Upper State teams like Ridge Spring-Monetta, while Lower State squads like Midland Valley will head to the Florence Civic Center. Both the Lady Trojans and the Mustangs would play on Saturday if they win their third-round games.
The state championship games are scheduled for March 7 and 8 at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia.
Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University. Follow him on Twitter @ASJTimm.
All times subject to change
Class A Girls
• Lamar at Ridge Spring-Monetta, 7 p.m.
Class AAA Boys
• Midland Valley at Myrtle Beach, 7 p.m.