The Rebels are back.
The Thomas Heyward Academy girls basketball team defeated Colleton Prep, 67-49, on Thursday in Sumter to advance to Saturday's SCISAA 2-A girls basketball state championship for the second straight season.
Last season, the Rebels reached the final, only to lose to Bible Baptist for the third time.
The Rebels (26-0) pulled out to a 27-16 lead at the half and proceeded to break the game open in the third quarter.
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"We got up by almost 30, they'd make a run and pull away again," Rebels coach Gary Mazzanna said.
Caitlyn Cooler led the Rebels with 21 points, and they got 14 from Ashlie Layman, 12 from Brielle Jungblut and 10 from Jamie Malphrus.
"I thought we played well at times," Mazzanna said. "But we weren't consistent enough. If we're going to win this thing, we'll have to put it together for four quarters."
It's likely to be quite a test for the Rebels at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sumter Civic Center. Their opponent will be 30-0 Richard Winn, a 49-32 winner over Pee Dee Academy on Thursday in the other semifinal.
"We won't do a whole lot defensively against them that we've been doing," Mazzanna said. "We're going to change a lot of things we do.
The Eagles are led by 6-foot-1 Alex Maass, who averages 31 points, 12 rebounds, 7 steals, 3.2 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
"It'll be a good game," Mazzanna said. "If we have anything on Richard Winn, it's that we're a little deeper."