By CT McDonald


Irmo and Dutch Fork girls varsity basketball teams got the Class 5A state playoffs started Tuesday with wins and dates to play again in Friday’s second round games.

The Yellow Jackets defeated West Ashley 45-25 at Irmo to advance to the second round on Friday at Carolina Forest, the first round winner against Ashley Ridge. Irmo (19-6, 11-1) is the No. 2 seed from Region 5-5A after completing the regular season in a first-place tie with Spring Valley, while Carolina Forest (16-7, 7-3) is the No. 2 seed out of Region 6-5A behind Conway.

The winner of Friday’s Irmo/Conway game will advance to play next Tuesday, February 20, in the third round against the winner of the Lexington/Goose Creek game. Lexington is one of Irmo’s Region 5-5A opponents during the regular season.

In Tuesday’s first round against West Ashley, the Yellow Jackets outscored the Wildcats in all but one of the four quarters, and, importantly, held them to single digits in all but the third quarter, including a 1-point final quarter for the lowcountry team.

Dutch Fork’s varsity girls opened the postseason with a close 43-42 win at Wando on Tuesday to advance to the second round on Friday at Conway, the first round winner against Blythewood. The Silver Foxes and Warriors were tied at 23 at halftime, then tied it again at 34 after the third quarter, but Dutch Fork outscored Wando 9-8 in the final period to take the 1-point advantage at the end.

The Foxes (11-10, 7-5) are seeded No. 3 from Region 5-5A, while Conway (15-6, 8-2) is the top seed out of Region 6-5A. The winner of this one will advance to the third round on February 20 against the winner of the Spring Valley/Socastee game.

Spring Valley is one of Dutch Fork’s Region 5-5A opponents in the regular season.

The Irmo and Dutch Fork varsity boys were to kick off their runs in the playoffs Wednesday, with winners advancing to the second round on Saturday.

Irmo was to start at home against Wando, and Dutch was to get started on the road at Conway. Third round games are set for Tuesday, February 21, for the teams that win Friday’s contests.