Whale Branch Early College High School girls basketball team, after surviving a scare from Bluffton High School this past Saturday, vaulted to No. 3 in the latest S.C. Basketball Coaches Association Class 1-A poll. The girls also won this past week at previously fifth-ranked Denmark-Olar.
The Warriors boys remained No. 1 in Class 1-A after avoiding an upset at Denmark-Olar, routing Branchville and slipping past Class 4-A Bluffton at home Saturday.
Whale Branch boys and girls play host to Estill tonight in a region game.
The Warriors boys (17-2, 6-0 Region 5-A) are coming off a back-and-forth victory over the Bobcats. Whale Branch coach Linc Lyles said he welcomed the stiff competition this late in the season, that the Bobcats would prepare his team for the stretch run in region play and the Class 1-A playoffs.
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The Warriors girls (14-3, 4-0 Region 5-A) allowed Bluffton to come back from an 18-point deficit before closing out the Bobcats. Coach Wilbert Bryant said Whale Branch was still working on the proper way to play with the lead.
Both Warriors teams have four region games remaining, the boys biggest at Allendale-Fairfax on Feb. 4 and the girls hosting a rematch with Denmark-Olar on Feb. 6 to close the regular season.
S.C. Basketball Coaches Association Polls
Class 4-A: 1. Irmo, 2. Hillcrest, 3. Dorman, 4. South Pointe, 5. Rock Hill, 6. T.L. Hanna, 7. Spring Valley, 8. Summerville, 9. West Ashley, 10. Goose Creek.
Class 3-A: 1. Hartsville, 2. Eastside, 3. Southside, 4. Darlington, 5. Lower Richland, 6. Seneca, 7. North Myrtle Beach, 8. Daniel, 9. Orangeburg-Wilkinson, 10. Strom Thurmond.
Class 2-A: 1. Lake Marion, 2. Newberry, 3. Keenan, 4. Landrum, 5. Marion, 6. Indlan Land, 7. Woodland, 8. Batesburg-Leesville, 9. Mullins, 10. Blacksburg.
Class 1-A: 1. Whale Branch, 2. Johnsonville, 3. Carvers Bay, 4. Fox Creek, 5. C.E. Murray, 6. Baptist Hill, 7. Allendale-Fairfax, 8. Ware Shoals, 9. Christ Church, 10. Waegner Salley.
Class 4-A: 1. Dutch Fork, 2. West Ashley, 3. Greenwood, 4. Goose Creek, 5. Spring Valley, 6. Dorman, 7. Northwestern, 8. JL Mann, 9. Aiken, 10. Summerville.
Class 3-A: 1. Orangeburg-Wilkinson, 2. Lower Richland, 3. Wren, 4. North Myrtle Beach, 5. Dreher, 6. Crestwood, 7. Daniel, 8. Greenville, 9. Seneca, 10. Berea.
Class 2-A: 1. Mullins, 2. Bishop England, 3. Fairfield Central, 4. Lake City, 5. Cheraw, 6. Andrew Jackson, 7. Blacksburg, 8. Ninety-Six, 9. Silver Bluff, 10. Dillon.
Class 1-A: 1. Timmonsville, 2. Latta, 3. Whale Branch, 4. Chris Church, 5. Ridge Spring-Monetta, 6. Hemingway, 7. St. Joseph's, 8. Denmark-Olar, 9. McBee, 10. McCormick.