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January 23, 2012
Ten things we have learned so far?
1) Class AAAA upper state is absolutely loaded. Irmo, Gaffney, Lancaster look talented enough to win the whole thing while Richland Northeast, Hillcrest, Dorman will be tough outs as well. 2nd and 3rd round playoff matchups will be terrific! In the lower state it appears that Lexington and Wando could be on a collision course, but Goose Creek, West Ashley, and Sumter could have something to say about that.
2) Class AAA is WIDE OPEN. Preseason favorites Wilson and Lower Richland have taken some losses but there is still a reason they were preseason favorites. I would still expect to see one of those two teams in Columbia come March. Who will they face???
3) In Class AA, Mullins is undefeated but Keenan is still Keenan. The Raiders have the swagger to play with anyone as they showed when they went toe to toe with an Oak Hill Academy who is currently 30-0. Oh, and by the way, the Raiders have Class AA's best coach in Zach Norris and best player in Marcus Stroman.
4) In Class A, Great Falls and Landrum appear to be the best two teams but the Class A playoffs always seem to feature a surprise team or two.
5) Gaffney Sophomore L.J. Peak may not have been on the Elite 5 list before the season, but he will be on every one's all state list after the season. When the Indians need him and he is challenged he is as good as anyone in the state. He and Lancaster's Sindarius Thornwell are the state's best two non-seniors, and a case can be made that they are the best two players in the state.
6) Orangeburg-Wilkinson and Rock Hill have gaudy records, but both still have question marks as to whether or not they are ready for prime time. OW had their 13 game winning streak snapped by Lexington in a rout that was never close. Lexington led by 27 at the half and coasted to a victory. In Rock Hill, the Bearcats rolled into region play with a 13-1 record but after a 43-42 loss to Northwestern they stand at 2-2 in the region with consecutive games with Lancaster and Gaffney coming up next.
7) Dutch Fork is not the state's best defensive team. The Silver Foxes have given up 80 points or more in half of their games this season including 118 to Irmo in the Yellow Jackets 188-87 win in the rivalry game.
8) Speaking of Irmo, Clemson bound Jordan Roper is the front runner for player of the year. Irmo is undefeated against South Carolina teams this season and Roper was dominant in Irmo's season sweep of arch-rival and contender Lexington.
9) Darlington apparently has reloaded. After losing all 5 starters from last year's Lower State championship team the Falcons are 14-3 and 5-0 in the region after yesterday's overtime win over rival Hartsville.
10) Next week's most interesting games are:
Wando @ Goose Creek
West Ashley @ Wando
CLICK GRAPHIC FOR MORE INFORMATION!!!!!
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