By CT McDonald


With the Dutch Fork varsity girls’ loss in the upper state title game earlier this week, the Irmo girls’ loss in the lower state title game and the Irmo boys’ quarterfinal loss last week, the basketball season is now completed for all District Five teams.

The Silver Fox girls were shooting for a fourth consecutive state championship after winning state titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014, but the battle between region and state title rivals Dutch Fork and Spring Valley went to the Vikings instead.

It was 48-28, Spring Valley, at Greenville’s Bon Secours Wellness Arena early this week in the state semifinal round, sending the Vikings to the state finals Friday at Columbia’s Colonial Life Arena. The Dutch Fork girls and the Spring Valley girls have captured every Class 4A girls state championship since the 2010-2011 season, with the Lady Silver Foxes holding three of those four state titles.

The Lady Vikings will face Goose Creek – the team that defeated Irmo in the lower state semifinals – on Friday at 7 pm at the Colonial Life Arena for this year’s 4A state title.

Irmo’s varsity girls took their season deeper into the playoffs than the program has been for a stretch of years, but it finally ended when the GC Gators won the lower state championship at the Florence Civic Center 44-32 late last week.

After winning the Region 5-4A championship in a season when the Lady Yellow Jackets dominated almost every opponent that took them on, they defeated South Florence, Wando and Sumter on their march through the brackets before coming up on the short end of the semifinals against the Gators.

Irmo finished as 4A state runner-up against Dorman in the 2003-2004 season and, since then, had not had quite the season that this team has earned this year.

And in this same season, the Irmo varsity boys were working to return to the state finals where they have earned see-saw appearances in the past few years. But those aspirations also ended when Sumter – now a state finalist – won the quarterfinal contest with the Yellow Jackets 66-60 in last week’s playoff action.

Irmo won the boys 4A state championship in 2011, finished in the quarterfinals in 2012, won the state title again in 2013, and then completed last year in the state semifinal round. This year they were on track to make another visit to the finals, putting away almost every opponent in their path, but – as is common in all competition – the Sumter Gamecocks also had a good team, and they will now have a shot at the 4A state title.