The top-ranked girls basketball team in Class 5A bounced one Midlands team from the playoffs and will get a shot to oust another in the second round.
Shayla Nelson scored a game-high 17 points and Jasmine Stanley added 12 points as the Goose Creek High School girls put together a workmanlike performance in eliminating visiting Irmo High School, 60-39, on Tuesday.
“I told our girls before the game, these girls aren’t going to come in and go ‘oh, my God, we’re playing Goose Creek,”’ Goose Creek coach Tim Baldwin said. “They’ve played Sumter. They’ve played Spring Valley. They play in a strong region. We knew they were going to be scrappy. We had to work for this one and I like that because we don’t always get that.”
Nelson and Stanley scored 13 points in the opening quarter as Goose Creek (19-1) built a 15-5 lead and established their dominance around the basket. The Gators extended their advantage to 28-13 at halftime and coasted home to their 13th straight victory since losing their only game.
Guards Aniyah Oliver and Ciera Shivers added nine and eight points respectively for Goose Creek.
The Gators host Dutch Fork on Friday. The Silver Foxes (14-9) rallied from 12 points down after three quarters to edge South Florence, 59-54, in the opening round.
Ehrial Wagstaff had 10 points to lead Irmo, which ends the season 14-12.
Comparing scores, Irmo defeated Dutch Fork twice this season.
"We still left a lot out there," Baldwin said. "We missed a lot of layups. Obviously the competition is going to get tougher and we've got to make those."
The Goose Creek-Dutch Fork winner will square off against either Fort Dorchester or Carolina Forest in the third round on Feb. 18. Goose Creek would host that game if it advances.