Irmo boys defeat A.C. Flora to claim region tiebreaker; Lexington, Gray Collegiate boys claim region titles

Posted 2/3/23

The first-place logjam in Region 5-4a boys basketball finds one team with a clear road to the title.

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Irmo boys defeat A.C. Flora to claim region tiebreaker; Lexington, Gray Collegiate boys claim region titles


The first-place logjam in Region 5-4a boys basketball finds one team with a clear road to the title.
Irmo's 48-41 victory over A.C. Flora, coupled with Ridge View's 70-66 win over Westwood on Feb. 3, created a 3-way tie for the top with two games left.
The seventh-ranked Yellow Jacket (19-5, 5-3) now own the tiebreaker having swept the season series with both the Falcons and Blazers. They can clinch the region title outright by winning their last two games on the road against Lugoff-Elgin and Westwood.
Both teams defeated Irmo at home. However, the Yellow Jackets were without the services of senior center Brandon Crawford due to illness.
In Crawford's third game back, he led the Yellow Jackets with 21 points. Even more impactful were his nine blocked shots, including a critical one with 45 seconds left with the Falcons trailing by three points.
"Watching those games at home, it made me because I couldn't play basketball, being in bed," Crawford said. "It's fun. I love doing this."
"Offensively, he played well and shot the ball," Irmo head coach Tim Whipple said. "He hit several 15-18 foot shots that were big. But, the difference he makes on the defensive end you can't measure and that certainly hurt us when we was gone. But at the same time, we've got to make sure that we keep things going in the right direction right now."
Crawford made his presence early with 12 first-half points and four blocks in the first quarter alone. The Yellow Jackets also capitalized off a pair of buzzer-beating shots with a 3-pointer by A.J. Brand to end the first quarter and Crawford jumper at the free-throw line to send Irmo into the lockerroom up 22-16.
A layup by Crawford to open the second half gave Irmo an eight-point lead. Down 29-22, the Falcons scored seven unanswered points to tie the game.
Two free throws by Madden Collins, who had six assists, gave the Yellow Jackets a 31-29 lead going into the fourth quarter.
A layup by Crawford, a 4-point play converted by Te'Andre Summons, who finished with 14, and free throw by Crawford gave Irmo its biggest lead at 38-29 with 6:26 left. The Yellow Jackets maintained that advantage thanks to a on-handed alley-oop slum dunk by Crawford off a Brand pass and driving layup by Summons.
Back-to-back three-pointers by A.C. Flora's William Willard during an 8-2 run by A.C. Flora closed the game to 44-41. After a missed free throw by Brand with 30 seconds left, Falcon guard Ry'nee Maxwell-Tims drove to the basket for a layup.
Instead, Crawford made the block and Jonathan White was intentionally fouled with 12.8 seconds left. He made both free throws and, after an A.C. Flora turnover, added two more to close out the scoring.
"Personally, I feel like I create a presence in the paint to where people don't want to drive in," Crawford said. "That makes them take a wild shot it and we just get the rebound and push it out."
Irmo looks to maintain a share of first place Feb. 7 at Lugoff-Elgin.
"There are no easy games in our region," Whipple said. "There aren't any. The point differentials in our games are all under 10 points and a struggle. So, it's a just matter of going out and continue to play hard and then, what happens, happens."

Lexington 87, White Knoll 33

With a quartet of double-figure scorers, the third-ranked Wildcats wrapped up the Region 4-5A title.
Jaxon Prunty led Lexington (17-6, 7-0) with 17 points, followed by Jose Figueroa and former Timberwolves guard Kaleb Evans with 15 each and Cam Scott with 11.
Lexington will be a top seed in the Upper State and close out the regular season Feb. 9 at Dutch Fork.

Gray Collegiate 91, Columbia 34

For the seventh consecutive year, the defending Class 2A champion War Eagles are region champions.
Montraivis White led Gray Collegiate (20-6, 7-1) with 16 points. Avantae Parker had 14 and Ellis Graham finished with 10. The win improved the War Eagles to 59-2 all-time in region play and they will be a top seed in the Class 2A Upper State playoffs.

Northside Christian 77, Orangeburg Prep 65

The Crusaders claimed sole possession of first place in Region 4-3A with their fifth straight win.
Cade McNeill scored 22 points and Dane Sundell had 18 for Northside Christian (6-10, 3-0), who play host to Thomas Sumter Academy Feb. 7.

Chapin 58, Dutch Fork 50

Lucas Highberger scored 21 points and Cayman Collins had 18 to lead the Eagles.
The win clinched a playoff spot for Chapin (7-14, 2-4), who now trail the Silver Foxes by one game for third place in Region 4-5A.
The Eagles next play host to White Knoll on Feb. 7.

Brookland-Cayce 59, Gilbert 41

Fox Creek 51, Batesburg-Leesville 43

Lower Richland 76, Swansea 26 

Girls Basketball

Gray Collegiate 57, Columbia 31

Jordan Mintz scored 14 points and Maliyiah Mason finished with 10 as the second-ranked Lady War Eagles finished the regular season second in Region 4-2A.
Gray Collegiate (17-6, 6-2) will open the Class 2A Upper State playoffs at home.

Dutch Fork 72, Chapin 28

Christyonna Jackson scored 21 points, Aaliyah Lee had 12 points and Hillary Offing finished with 11 to lead the Lady Silver Foxes.
The win kept Dutch Fork (12-8, 5-1) tied with Lexington in the loss column for first place in Region 4-5A. Up next is a home matchup against River Bluff.

Lexington 66, White Knoll 30 

Lindsay Garner scored 20 points and  Izzy Saville and Charlize Misick-Rivas each added nine points for the Lady Wildcats, who moved within a victory of clinching the Region 4-5A title.

Lexington (17-6, 6-1) closes out the regular season Feb. 9 at Dutch Fork in a "winner take all" contest. 

A.C. Flora 61, Irmo 30

Andrea Collins scored 15 points and Claire Howard added seven for the Lady Yellow Jackets.

Gilbert 39, Brookland-Cayce 1

Thomas Grant Jr. | Chronicle
Irmo center Brandon Crawford following his 21-point, 9 block effort versus A.C. Flora.
Thomas Grant Jr. | Chronicle
Irmo boys basketball coach Tim Whipple following the 48-41 win over A.C. Flora

Irmo, Brandon Crawford, basketball, Summons, Collins, Whipple, Lexington


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