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State championship aspirations begin tonight for two county high school boys basketball teams.
Lancaster High, rated No. 6 in the latest Class AAAA state poll by the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association, opens play with a home game against Westside High School of Anderson at 6 p.m.
The 22-3 Bruins earned the home berth as the Region III-AAAA runner-up to Gaffney. LHS was 8-2, with its only league losses to GHS.
Indian Land hits the road to face Eau Claire High of Columbia. The Warriors were the third place team in Region IV-AA, while the EC Shamrocks finished second in Region III-AA.
Westside enters the game at LHS with a 13-11 mark, but a year ago battled eventual state champion Irmo to the wire in the Upstate semifinals.
“What we’ve done so far has been outstanding, but we start a new season tonight and you have to be on top of your game,” LHS coach Ricardo Priester said. “In our last regular-season game againt Clover, we had good balance. It was a good consistent effort and that’s what we need in the playoffs.”
The Bruins are led by junior ace Sindarius Thornwell and senior guard Alan Robinson.
Westside fell in a special play-off game to Woodmont for the fifth-place berth out of Region I. The winner of the Lancaster vs. Westside will advance to a second-round clash against the winner of Wren and J.L. Mann of Greenville. The second-round game is set for Saturday. Wren, the Region I champion, is 15-9, while Mann is 10-13 on the season.
LHS athletic director Mark Strickland said admission to the game is $6 as set by the S.C. High School League. Only S.C. High School League passes will be honored at the gate.
Indian Land, 9-12, 6-4, faces an Eau Claire team, which it defeated in the Class AA Upper State semifinals last season at home.
The Shamrocks, the runners-up in Region III-AA, are 20-6.
A trio of Lancaster County girls teams launched their postseason hopes Tuesday night.
Lancaster High School, the fourth-place finisher in Region III-AAAA, ventured to the Midlands to face Dutch Fork, 22-3.
The winner of the Lancaster vs. Dutch Fork game advances to second-round play Friday to face the J.L. Mann vs. T.L. Hanna winner.
The Lady Bruins, 10-10, finished 5-5 in region play.
The Andrew Jackson High School Lady Volunteers launched the playoffs at home Tuesday when the AJ girls faced Eau Claire.
The Lady Vols, who posted impressive back-to-back road wins over Lee Central High of Bishopville to earn the region runner-up, are 15-8.
The winner of the AJ vs. Eau Claire game moves on to face the Palmetto vs. Newberry winner on Friday night.
Buford, the fourth-place team in Region IV-AA, ventured to Columbia to face the Lady Capitols on Tuesday.
The Lady Jackets are 11-9 overall, while Columbia, the Region III-AA champion, is 17-4. The Buford vs. Columbia winner moves on to face the Saluda-Chesnee winner.
The girls’ games were completed after The Lancaster News’ deadline for Tuesday.
See the Friday paper for full results.