The first obstacle in the playoffs for Goose Creek’s basketball teams will be a fort.
Both the Lady Gators and Gators host Fort Dorchester on Thursday at GCHS in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs.
The second round is Saturday.
The playoffs mark the final moments in Goose Creek uniforms for a total of 11 seniors between the two squads, including three starters apiece.
Each team is 22-2 heading into the postseason. The Lady Gators won the Region 7-AAAA title outright and are the No. 1 seed.
Coach Tim Baldwin’s squad breezed through region play, winning all eight games by an average of 30.5 points per contest. Their only two losses came over Christmas break to a pair of out-of-state teams.
Among the seniors for the Lady Gators are starters forward Shakeia Joy (9.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.1 spg), guard Alex Ludwig (8 ppg, 2.8 spg) and center Semoine Frasier (8.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg). The other seniors are guard Alishya Neal-Turner and center Santanna Holmes.
Goose Creek’s girls won two prior meetings against the Lady Patriots this season, 75-24 on Dec. 16 and 64-46 on Jan. 6.
The Gators’ boys are aiming to get back to the state championship game. They made it to Columbia a year ago before losing to eventual champion Irmo.
They finished as co-champions with Wando in Region 7-AAAA but ended up as the No. 2 seed out of the region by virtue of the Warriors’ wider margin of victory in splitting the two encounters.
Among the seniors for coach Blake Hall’s team are guards Dantez Bennamon and Chris Singleton, two major scorers for the Gators. Forward Evan McField is another senior starter.
The other seniors are guards Daryus Durham, J.C. Simuel and J.C. Simuel.
Fort Dorchester could be a tricky matchup for the Gators. The Patriots handed GCHS one of its two losses this season, winning 63-55 in North Charleston on Dec. 16.
Bennamon sat out that game for receiving two technical fouls a game earlier against Hanahan.
In the rematch, the Gators won 55-43 at home on Jan. 6.
A portion of the playoff brackets were incomplete at press time.
For complete brackets, please see www.schsl.org.