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Playoffs open on the court
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Camden and North Central’s basketball teams all earned spots in the South Carolina High School League state playoffs --- and will all travel for first round pairings --- which opened Monday with the Camden girls heading to meet Pendleton in the first round of the AAA Upper State playoffs.

The Camden and North Central girls play tonight at Seneca and Landrum, respectively, while the North Central boys head to meet Greenville Tech Wednesday night. 

Here are capsule looks at the four teams and their first round and, possible second round opponents and sites:

Camden girls: Natalie Jeffcoat, whose Lady Bulldogs finished third in Region 4-AAA, traveled to meet the Lady Bulldogs from Pendleton, the runners-up in Region 1 in Monday’s opener. The hostesses carried a 13-9 overall record into the contest against a Camden squad which posted a 15-7 regular season mark.

Round two: The winner of Monday’s game will meet the winner of the game between Region 2 champion Southside vs. Clinton, the fourth-place entry out of Region 3 in Thursday’s second round. Should Camden face Southside, the Lady Bulldogs will be on the road. If Clinton and Camden win on Monday, the second round game will be played in Camden Thursday night.

Camden boys: Ron McKie, whose Bulldogs finished third in Region 4-AAA, travel to Seneca, the Region 1 runners-up, in Tuesday’s opener. The hosts will carry an 11-13 overall record into the contest against a Camden squad which posted a 12-11 regular season mark. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m.

Round two: The winner of tonight’s game will meet the winner of the game between Region 2 champion Chapman vs. Clinton, the fourth-place entry out of Region 3 in Friday’s second round. Should Camden face Chapman, the Bulldogs will be on the road. If Clinton and Camden win tonight, the second round game will be played in Camden Friday night.

North Central girls: David Dawson, whose Lady Knights finished fourth in Region 4-AA, travel to meet the Lady Cardinals from Landrum, the runners-up in Region 1 in Monday’s opener. The visitors carried an 8-12 overall record into the contest against a Landrum squad which posted an 18-7 regular season record. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Round two: The winner of tonight’s game will meet the winner of the game between Region 2 champion Saluda vs. St. Joseph’s, the fifth-place entry out of Region 3 in Thursday’s second round. Should NC face Saluda, the Lady Knights will be on the road. If NC and St. Joseph’s win tonight, the second round game will be played in Boonetown Friday night.

North Central boys: Kerry Hayes, whose Knights finished fourth in Region 4-AA, travel to meet the Warriors from Greenville Tech, the runners-up in Region 1 in Wednesday’s opener. The visitors carried a 12-8 overall record into the contest against a Greenville Tech squad which posted a 13-10 regular season record. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

Round two: The winner of tonight’s game will meet the winner of the game between Region 2 champion Silver Bluff vs. Blacksburg, the fifth-place entry out of Region 3 in Friday’s second round. Should NC face Silver Bluff, the Knights will be on the road. If NC and Blacksburg win tonight, the second round game will be played in Boonetown Saturday night.

Here are last week’s regular season finale results:

Top-ranked Raiders knock off Dogs: Once-beaten Keenan, ranked first among all AAA boys’ basketball teams, completed a perfect Region 4-AAA season with a 77-46 win over visiting Camden last Thursday in Columbia.

Bulldogs’ head coach Ron McKie, whose team dressed out just eight players in last Tuesday’s win over Indian Land, fortified his roster by promoting a pair of players from Camden Middle School’s unbeaten basketball team in 6-foot-2 forward Nyrell Stradford  and 6-foot-4 forward Greg Jackson who, in their first varsity action, scored 10 and six points respectively, against the Raiders.

Junior guard Kasean Crews led the Bulldogs with 13 points while senior forward Dwight Coleman added six points.

Lady Bulldogs lose lead, game in OT: The Camden girls lost a nine-point fourth quarter lead and, eventually, the game as Keenan used a 5-1 overtime run to take a 58-53 win over the Lady Bulldogs last Thursday.

The victory gave the hostesses a perfect 8-0 record in Region 4-AAA while Natalie Jeffcoat’s squad finished at 4-4 in conference action.

Joyce Edwards, a seventh-grade forward, led Camden with 18 points and 17 rebounds in the loss while sophomore guard Imani Wyatt was next with 16 points.

Demons end on a winning note: Stepping out of conference play for their season finale, the Lugoff-Elgin boys defeated host Columbia last Friday, 54-44, to close out a 7-16 season.

Senior forward Zarrius Salmond led the way for Garrett Knight’s troops with 13 points while sophomore guard Josh Gary was next with 12. Sophomore guard James Anderson added 11 points toward the winning cause.

Lady Demons close on high note: The Lugoff-Elgin girls put the lid on its 2018-19 campaign by knocking off Columbia, 36-25, for their fourth win of the season. The victory gave Von Duncan and company a season sweep of the Lady Capitals.

North Central boys drop game to Buford; tumble to fourth place in 4-AA: The North Central boys dropped their third straight game, falling to host Buford, 53-50, in a Friday night game played in Lancaster County.

The setback left Kerry Hayes’ squad with a 7-5 mark in Region 4-AA placing the Knights in fourth place in the seven-team circuit.

In the girls’ game, Buford sent North Central with a loss which dropped the Lady Knights to fourth place in 4-AA play with a final 4-8 league ledger.