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Scott's Branch guard Isiah Washington (3) and the Eagles will face Southside Christian for the SCHSL 1A title on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at USC Aiken Convocation Center.

Scott's Branch inspired by championship loss as they prepare for 1A title game

Almost a year ago to the day, the Scott's Branch High School; boys basketball team lost the 1A state championship game to Great Falls 73-71. The memory of that game lingers with the Eagles as they return to the title game on Wednesday. "It really …

Sumter wrestling coach Brian Wilson, left, and Davin Jackson pose for a picture after Jackson won the 5A lower state heavyweight title on Saturday.

Sumter's Jackson wins 5A lower state wrestling title with dominant performance

Sumter High School junior Davin Jackson had high expectations for this wrestling season. After finishing as the state runner-up at 220 pounds in 5A last season, anything short of a trip to state would've been surprising. Jackson had some barriers …

Sumter's Layken Cox (22) and Alicia Spann celebrate the Lady Gamecocks' 34-27 victory over Wando in the 5A lower state championship on Monday.

Lady Gamecocks advance to state championship with win over Wando

SANTEE - The Sumter High School girls basketball team advanced to the 5A state championship game with a 34-27 victory over Wando in the lower state championship game on Monday at the Lake Marion High gymnasium. The Lady Gamecocks, who improved to …

Scott's Branch guard Tariq Coard (4) drives to the basket during the Eagles' 67-63 win over Baptist Hill in the lower state championship at Cane Bay High School on Saturday.

Scott’s Branch outlasts Baptist Hill 67-63 to go back to 1A state championship game

SUMMERVILLE -- For the second straight season, the Scott’s Branch Eagles will play for the 1A boys basketball state championship. The Eagles outlasted Baptist Hill on Saturday for a 67-63 win …

Crestwood's Tony Raymond, left, and Desmond McMillan share a smile after they signed to play football with Georgia Knights Prep Academy, a prep school in Snellville, Georgia.

Crestwood's Raymond, McMillan sign with Georgia Knights Prep

When Crestwood High School's Tony Raymond and Desmond McMillan went to a workout camp in Columbia in January for prospective 2021 college football players, it was with the intention of catching the eye of a 4-year school. When the camp was done, …

From the Wire

Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman had a late start to spring training after he and his wife welcomed two baby boys, including one from a surrogate mother.

Braves' Freeman celebrates his new baby 'twins with a twist'

Freddie Freeman found a way to top the double honors of winning the NL MVP and Hank Aaron Award. The Atlanta Braves first baseman's bigger thrill is having two new baby boys. He describes his babies, Brandon and Maximus Turner, as his "twins with …

Former Houston defensive end J.J. Watt (99) signed with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday.

Cardinals agree to terms with free agent edge rusher JJ Watt

TEMPE, Ariz. - J.J. Watt has agreed to a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, showing that the franchise will be aggressive once again in their push to snap a five-year playoff drought. The team announced the deal with the free-agent …

William Byron celebrates after winning a NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday in Homestead, Florida.

Byron gives NASCAR another surprise winner at Homestead

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - After years of seeing a handful of drivers - the same guys, really - dominate NASCAR's top level nearly every week, the Cup Series is experiencing a little parity to start the season. It's a welcome sight for some. Others hope …

South Carolina guard Destanni Henderson (3) and the Gamecocks will look to win the SEC Tournament after losing the regular-season crown to Texas A&M on Sunday.

No. 2 Texas A&M in the spotlight as SEC Tournament favorite

Caught in South Carolina's shadow most of the season, No. 2 Texas A&M has stepped into the spotlight as the women's team to beat in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Aggies (22-1, 13-1) captured their first SEC regular-season …

South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston (4) looks to pass against Texas A&M center Ciera Johnson (40) during the Gamecocks' 65-57 loss on Sunday in College Station, Texas.

South Carolina drops to No. 7 after loss to Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas  — The Texas A&M Aggies have insisted all year that they should be considered one of the nation's best teams. When given the chance to shine against another …

Prep Sports

Sumter's Kiara Croskey (3) and the Lady Gamecocks will face Wando in the 5A lower state championship on Monday.

Sumter playoff basketball highlights 5 Things to Watch This Week

1. SUMTER GIRLS PLAY FOR LOWER STATE TITLEThe Sumter High School girls basketball team will go up against Wando in the 5A lower state championship game on Monday at 6 p.m. at Lake Marion High School …

Sumter's Kiara Croskey directs traffic during the Lady Gamecocks' 50-32 win over Summerville in the 5A state playoffs on Thursday. Croskey spent most of the first half on the bench in foul trouble, but came back to lead Sumter to a second-half comeback to earn a spot in the lower state championship.

Sumter girls basketball dominates second half, beats Summerville 50-32 to earn spot in 5A lower state championship

When Kiara Croskey picked up her second foul less than four minutes into the quarterfinal game between Sumter and Summerville high schools in the 5A girls basketball state playoffs, Lady Gamecock …

Scott's Branch guard Montrez Sinkler goes up for a layup during the Eagles' 70-46 win over Hannah-Pamplico in their quarterfinal matchup in the 1A state playoffs on Wednesday.

Scott’s Branch blows past Hannah-Pamplico 70-46

SUMMERTON – The Scott’s Branch High School boys basketball team looked like it was going to be going down to the wire against Hannah-Pamplico in their quarterfinal game in the 1A state …

Lee Academy's Caleigh Barrett (15) won the Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week after scoring her 1,000th point in a win over John Paul II on Friday.

Lee's Barrett wins Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week after scoring 1,000th point

The Lee Academy girls basketball team has leaned on Caleigh Barrett a lot this season. The senior forward almost always led the team in scoring and was great at cleaning up on the boards. That continued when the Lady Cavaliers faced John Paul II in …

East Clarendon's Talaysia Cooper was named the 1A Girls Player of the Year by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association on Tuesday.

Cooper 1A Player of the Year; five others named All-State

East Clarendon High School's Talaysia Cooper was named the 1A Girls Player of the Year by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association on Tuesday, while five other local players were named to their respective All-State teams. Sumter's Kiara …

CLEMSON

The South Carolina baseball team celebrates a walk-off 3-2 win over Clemson at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia on Saturday.

Eyster's double helps South Carolina baseball walk off Clemson in extras

GREENVILLE - Andrew Eyster doubled home Brady Allen in the bottom of the 11th inning as South Carolina walked off to a 3-2 college baseball win over Clemson on Saturday at Fluor Field in …

Clemson's Hunter Tyson (5) shoots over Wake Forest's Isaiah Mucius during the Tigers' 50-39 win on Wednesday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Clemson wins 4th straight, holds Wake Forest to 39 points

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Alex Hemenway scored 17 points with five 3-pointers, Aamir Simms had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Clemson beat Wake Forest 60-39 on Wednesday for its fourth straight victory. Clemson held its second opponent this …

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) will take over for Trevor Lawrence full time next season after a brief stint as the starter while Lawrence was out with COVID-19 this past season.

Clemson, Swinney face major offensive changes this spring

COLUMBIA - Don't tell Clemson coach Dabo Swinney he has anything to worry about without offensive stars and team leaders in quarterback Trevor Lawrence and tailback Travis Etienne on the Tigers. "There's nobody that's left our program that we …

South Carolina's Wes Clarke, right, and the Gamecocks will face Clemson for their annual 3-game series this weekend.

South Carolina, Clemson meet on diamond this weekend

After opening their respective seasons with 3-game sweeps of Ohio schools, South Carolina and Clemson get down to business this weekend - against each other. The Gamecocks and Tigers will play their annual 3-game series on Friday, Saturday and …

South Carolina guard Zia Cooke (1) drives to the hoop against Kentucky guard Chasity Patterson (15) during the Gamecocks' 76-55 win on Sunday in Columbia.

South Carolina recovers to beat Kentucky 76-55

COLUMBIA - Zia Cooke scored 21 points as South Carolina got back on track after its first Southeastern Conference loss in two seasons with a 76-55 victory over Kentucky on Sunday. The Gamecocks (18-3, 13-1 SEC) had won 31 straight over league …

USC

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin and the Gamecocks will be on probation for two years as punishment for former assistant coach Lamont Evans accepting bribes from a sports agent.

NCAA hands South Carolina 2-year probation for ex-assistant

COLUMBIA - South Carolina's men's basketball program was placed on probation for two years by the NCAA on Thursday for former assistant coach Lamont Evans accepting between $3,300 and $5,800 in bribes from a sports agent. The NCAA's decision put …

South Carolina guard Zia Cooke (1) shoots against Ole Miss during the Gamecocks' 68-43 win in Columbia on Thursday.

No. 5 USC women win 13th straight over Ole Miss 68-43

COLUMBIA - South Carolina didn't waste time celebrating its latest victory over Mississippi, not with the bigger picture in sight. Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley told her players in the locker room Thursday soon after the 68-43 rout that the stage …

South Carolina's Aliyah Boston (4) shoots while defended by Tennessee's Tamari Key (20) during the Gamecocks' 75-67 loss on Thursday in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Davis leads No. 21 Tennessee over No. 2 South Carolina

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For just a moment, Kellie Harper allowed herself to break COVID protocol. The hug she got from Tennessee men's basketball coach Rick Barnes was just too important to pass up. Harper was celebrating the biggest win in her …

South Carolina's AJ Lawson dunks during the Gamecocks' 93-73 loss to Tennessee on Wednesday in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Bailey leads No. 19 Tennessee over South Carolina 93-73

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Every time South Carolina made a move, Tennessee answered. Victor Bailey was a big part of the Volunteers' response. Bailey connected on 7 of 10 3-pointers and scored a career-high 29 points to lead No. 19 Tennessee to a …

South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston (4) and the Gamecocks are in line to be one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA women's basketball tournament after the selection committee announced its initial top 16 on Monday.

UConn in line for women's tournament top seed; USC No. 2

UConn, South Carolina, Stanford and Louisville are in line for the top seeds of the women's NCAA Tournament. The women's basketball selection committee revealed the top 16 teams to this point Monday night. The Huskies, who moved up to No. 1 in …

Outdoors

PHOTO PROVIDED BY CLEMSONSachin Rustgi, a molecular biologist at Clemson's Pee Dee Research and Education Center, tests wheat and peanut varieties to find ones that are naturally less allergenic than others.

Clemson researcher seeks to make peanuts, wheat easier to digest

FLORENCE- Peanuts and wheat are nutritional powerhouses but contain protein allergens that can be detrimental for some people. However, a Clemson University researcher thinks that if he can target these proteins, he can breed for safer, …

Monarch butterflies down 26% in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) - The number of monarch butterflies that showed up at their winter resting grounds in central Mexico decreased by about 26% this year, and four times as many trees were lost to illegal logging, drought and other causes, making 2020 …

DAN GEDDINGS / THE SUMTER ITEM  A large gobbler track is seen in the sandy drive of the Man Cave.

Dan Geddings: The Man Cave

It is a small tract of land, close by the highway. Cars roar down the road, headed to some unknown destination. All of the other hunt club land lies across the busy road, where there is room to get away from the steady hum of traffic. There was a …