High School Sports

Class AAAA playoff pairings announced

The official Class AAAA playoff pairing were announced Satuarday morning and turned out the same as those reported in The Herald for local teams.

The pairings became official when representatives from AAAA met at the South Carolina High School League in Columbia on Saturday morning to sort out which of the classification's 32 teams made it to Friday's opening round.

Northwestern (10-1) hosts Stratford (5-6) and Rock Hill (4-7) travels to Summerville (10-1) in the Division I playoffs.

In the Divsion II playoffs, South Pointe (8-3) got a No. 9 seed and is on the road against No. 8 Aiken (6-5). Clover (9-2) is home against Laurens (8-3).

South Pointe's game is historic. The Stallions started varsity football last season and this will be the first of what is expected to be many future trips to the postseason.

The top three teams in each of the state's eight regions and eight at-large teams were picked -- the at-large teams on the league's points system. After the 32 teams were identified, they were broken up by enrollments, with the largest 16 assigned to Division I and the remaining 16 to Division II.

The brackets in each offer several intriguing possibilities.

In Division I, Northwestern (No. 5) was placed in the top portion of the bracket with No. 1 Byrnes, meaning if they meet it will be in the semifinals on Nov. 23 instead of the state championship game in Columbia on Dec. 1.

Rock Hill (No. 15 ) is in the lower part of the bracket and would have to win three straight road games to get to the championship because of its seed. Summerville (No. 2) knocked the Bearcats out in the second round of the playoffs in 2003. Rock Hill beat Stratford, Northwestern's opponent, 21-7 in the 2004 state championship game.

The interesting scenario in Division II is Clover and South Pointe being placed in opposite sides of the bracket. If both can get on a run and win three straight, they will met in the championship game on Nov. 30 at Columbia's William-Brice Stadium.

Two other teams are still playing after advancing with first-round victories on Friday night.

Chester, which beat Seneca 50-0, is home against Fairfield Central. The Cyclones (9-2) won the Region 3-AAA title with a 32-24 win over the Griffins (6-5) a week ago.

Great Falls (9-2) moved on and hosts McBee (8-3) after beating Dixie 41-7. The Red Devils beat McBee 25-0 in their Region 3-A meeting this season.

6 Gaffney*

11 Lexington

11 Laurens

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