The Loris football team isn't making any major scheme or personnel changes.
Heading into Friday’s Class AA, Division I Lower State title game, coach Jamie Snider doesn’t see any reason for it. The 11-1 Lions will be playing at Dillon, the team that not only handed Loris its lone loss of the year, but the one that did so in lopsided fashion.
Still, the Lions are going to keep doing what’s got them here.
“Other than the Dillon game, it’s worked pretty well for us,” Snider said.
Those who were at that 49-7 Dillon victory on Oct. 24 saw what so many others have in recent years. The Wildcats, winners of four of the last six state titles, jumped out to an early lead and then continued to overpower Loris.
To put the loss in perspective, the Lions have allowed a combined 43 points against their other 11 opponents this year.
Making sure that type of result doesn’t happen again won’t be easy. Since that game, the Wildcats have won their ensuing three games by 40, 36 and 56 points.
Dillon has won its 12 games by an average score of 47-9. That included a sixth straight undefeated run through region play, and – as part of a quirk to the Class AA postseason format – two wins to open this year’s playoffs against regular region foes Aynor and Waccamaw.
Snider said earlier in the year his team – despite rising as high as No. 2 in the Class AA state poll – was closer to the rest of the region than it was to Dillon. What he’s also said prior to every match-up with Dillon is that his team won’t shy away from the powerhouse program.
“You don’t get to play in the Lower State championship and play a bad team. That doesn’t exist,” he said. “It’s all in your outlook. If you aspire to be a state champion, you want to play the best teams.
“If this was Vegas, we would be a huge underdog. They beat us 49-7 in the regular season. I get that. But look, we’re in the Lower State championship.”
This marks just the second time in school history Loris has reached a state semifinal. The other was in 1983, believed to be the only other time the Lions won two playoff games in one year.
Around Grand Strand football
With Friday’s victory over Hanahan, Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson reached 70 wins for his career. The sixth-year Seahawks coach is now 70-12. The team has won at least 10 games each season since he took over the program in 2009. … Seahawks tailback Brandon Sinclair has now eclipsed 4,000 total yards from scrimmage for his career. Sinclair had more than 2,000 last season alone when he rushed for 1,919 yards. He’s second on the Grand Strand in rushing yards this year, and with 63 rushing yards against Marlboro County in the Lower State semifinals on Friday, he would finish as the leading rushing in the area for the second consecutive season.
Alvin Walker doesn’t have much time to get the bulk of his Georgetown varsity basketball roster ready to go.
Starting Friday, the Bulldogs coach will throw his football-laden roster into the fire. The school will be hosting the Steel-Town Shootout for the 21st time. It’s returned to its past name after being called the Georgetown Dental Shootout the past two seasons.
The eight-team event features all four Georgetown County programs, as well as Summerville, C.E. Murray, Johnsonville and Crestwood.
For Walker’s bunch, the tournament will be some of the first action for nearly all of his players. That’s because 10 varsity players were also a part of Bradley Adams’ football team that won just the second playoff game in school history before being eliminate from the postseason on Friday.
“I didn’t mind,” Walker said. “If I was a younger coach, I’d probably be panicking. I’m a little more seasoned.”
Waccamaw and Summerville will tip off the tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with Andrews taking on C.E. Murray at approximately 7 p.m. Georgetown will play Johnsonville at around 8:30 p.m.
After a loser’s bracket game at 5 p.m. Saturday, Carvers Bay will join the fray when the Bears play Crestwood. Games will continue Monday and Tuesday, with the championship game being played at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Tickets for the tournament are $5 per night, and concessions will be available at all games.
Lady Braves Sand & Hoops Invitational
On Monday, eight girls teams, including seven local squads, will take part in the fourth annual Lady Braves Sand & Hoops Invitational at Socastee.
Georgetown and Carolina Forest will start the event at 5 p.m. Monday, followed by Carvers Bay-Waccamaw, St. James-Mullins and Socastee-Loris. Brackets for Tuesday’s games will be set depending on travel schedules, and the championship game will be played at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Tickets are $5 per day.
Cheraw won the inaugural event in 2011, followed by Mullins in 2012 and Conway last season.