A year ago, Spartanburg Christian was the first team Hilton Head Christian dispatched in its playoff march to the SCISA Class 2-A girls basketball crown.
Now with essentially the same SCA roster standing between the Eagles and a return to the championship game, it’ll be up to some of HHCA’s younger faces Thursday to help take that step.
“They have everybody back. We don’t have everybody back,” Eagles coach Kenny Conroy said Wednesday. “It’s going to be a good test for us.”
The teams will square off at 3:30 p.m. in the first of Thursday’s two semifinals at Sumter Civic Center. The winner will advance to Saturday’s title game against the winner of Pee Dee Academy and Trinity-Byrnes.
With all four teams were seeded No. 1 in their playoff brackets, no path is easier than the other.
“When you get this far, all the teams are very good,” Conroy said. “I think we have just as good as chance of winning the whole thing, but we have to play our game and be mistake-free. It just comes down to the ones who turn the ball over the fewest times and make their foul shots down the stretch.”
The Eagles (22-6) certainly have a formidable centerpiece in Ziaria Doe, a unanimous pick as region Player of the Year after averaging 23.4 points and 9.3 rebounds. But with the Warriors (16-10) expected to focus their defensive efforts around Doe, help is needed from a supporting cast that includes freshman Jossie Frazier and eighth-grader Brielle McCarthy.
“We have a bunch of young girls that have been on a learning curve and have gotten us this far,” Conroy said.
Spartanburg Christian is led by Peyton Thompson, a 6-foot-1 post player who scored 18 points in the Warriors’ quarterfinal victory over Florence Christian. SCA also makes extensive use of a full-court press.
“As long as we’re able to handle the pressure and play some good defense and score on our own, we should be in good shape,” Conroy said.