STATEWIDE GAMES THAT MATTER TO THE MIDLANDS TEAMS
DORMAN AT SPARTANBURG – 5A Region 2 positioning is never easy as these teams beat the heck out of each other in regular season. Right now, the Vikings of Spartanburg are 2-3, with losses to Nation Ford, Lawrenceville (GA) and Byrnes. The Byrnes game is the one that is key because that puts the Vikings a game back from Byrne in Region 2 Standings. With Byrnes win over Gaffney last week, the Rebels have a solid grip on the top spot in this region. Dorman is 5-0 and though they don’t have a quality win to their credit, they have completely dominated every opponent, outscoring them 231-28.
This game is important because the loser will more than likely fight for the 3rd spot in this region with Gaffney, who is already a game back behind Byrnes.
So why is that important to the Midlands teams? Because the Region 4 winner, probably Sumter, will more than likely see the 3rd place team from Region 2 in the second round of the playoffs. If Byrnes continues to play like they are playing, then it could very well be the winner of this game or Gaffney that the Gamecocks see in the 2nd round.
SUMMERVILLE AT ASHLEY RIDGE – Region 8 teams are playing for 2nd place in my opinion. Fort Dorchester is going to win it. That means the positioning for 2nd and 3rd is going to come down to a couple of teams. I don’t think West Ashley nor Stall are going to challenge for that so it will be the winner and loser of this game that finishes 2nd and 3rd in my opinion.
Summerville is 4-2 with a loss to Wando, which was a surprise to me, and an overtime loss to a good Berkeley team. Ashley Ridge is 2-3 with losses to Wando, Berkeley and Cane Bay. They’ve been outscored by their opponents 115-98 so their offense is not nearly as explosive as it has been in the past couple of seasons.
Why is this game important to the Midlands? Because the Region 5 No. 2 is going to get the No. 3 team in this region. That is going to be the loser of this game, in my opinion. Unfortunately for the No. 2 team from Region 4, they will open the playoffs on the road at Fort Dorchester, who I think wins this region easily and gets that No. 1 spot.
NATION FORD AT CLOVER – The Region 3 is going to be competitive this season but I think at the top is going to be Clover and Rock Hill. Clover is 5-0 and have overpowered every opponent, giving up just 49 points this season. Nation Ford got a surprising win over Spartanburg early in the year but they have yet to beat anyone with a winning record.
This game is important because Region 4 No. 2, which could be Blythewood, Spring Valley or Lugoff-Elgin at this point, will face off with the No. 3 from this region. In my opinion, it looks like it will be Nation Ford. Obviously, Northwestern could get a win over Nation Ford and become the third team still.
Also, the No. 3 team from Region 4 will face off with the No. 2 from this region. So at this point, just my prediction, that would be Rock Hill, assuming Clover goes unbeaten and gets the top spot.
Currently, there is too much smoke to be cleared in the 4A and 3A classifications to have games that matter. I think at this point Gilbert is at least a 3rd round playoff team in 3A and it would look like they will face May River in that round if both teams do what I think they will do.
Camden, also in 3A, assuming they finish second in the region to Chester, would have a winnable game against a Region 3 opponent in round one before seeing Chapman in Round 2. In my opinion, Chapman is the best 3A team in the state.
In 4A, I think AC Flora is going to win their region and the No. 1 from Region 4 drops to the lower state bracket and will face off with an at large team from lower state. The second round match up would probably be against the No. 2 team from Region 5. That could actually end up being a Midlands team like Brookland-Cayce or Airport. Should the Falcons get by that, they will face Myrtle Beach in the third round.