Yellow Jackets win region openers

By CT McDonald

Irmo’s varsity basketball teams are off to a good start in region competition after last week’s wins in the Region 5-AAAA openers.

The Lady Yellow Jackets earned their second straight victory with the 42-26 win against Richland Northeast in the region opener on the road last week. That improved the record to 6-7, 1-0 as they prepared to take on Ridge View earlier this week.

Before that matchup, the Blazers (4th) were just behind Irmo (3rd) in overall wins and losses for Region 5-4A teams, with Westwood and A. C. Flora still leading the lineup.

The Red Hawks and Falcons played last week with Westwood winning it to remain the region’s top team early in the competition.

Competition among region teams will be tough for the next week, or longer.

After Irmo’s home game with Ridge View early this week, the Lady Yellow Jackets will visit A. C. Flora (10-6, 0-1) on Friday at 6 pm to take on the opponent with the second-most overall victories among the region teams.

The Jackets don’t have a game on Tuesday, next week, but they will get back in action on January 20 when they play host to Westwood, the region leader.

Irmo’s varsity boys (14-2, 1-0) remained the Region 5-4A leaders after winning their conference opener against Richland Northeast 49-44 last week. This was a back-and-forth matchup with the Yellow Jackets sealing the win in the closing seconds.

The Yellow Jackets are also ranked No. 3 in this week’s 4A Top-10 poll by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association.

After Irmo, the boys’ teams in the region are more closely matched — but not even — in overall wins and losses. Ridge View (9-7, 1-0) visited Irmo early this week, and the Yellow Jackets will play at A. C. Flora (8-7, 1-0) on Friday. Game time is 7:30 pm.

Irmo will play in the annual MLK Bash at Eau Claire High School starting with a game against Sumter on Monday, and then it’s back to the region games at the end of the week.

There will be plenty of time, and games, for the conference teams to work for one of the top spots in the lineup. Each region team will play every other region team twice before the regular season comes to a close.

Note: Win/loss records are before this week’s Tuesday games.