Tonight and all day Saturday, high school basketball teams from across the state are playing for the 2007-08 state championships at USC's Colonial Center in Columbia.
Most are in familiar territory.
Two teams are riding long winning streaks and are chasing their third straight titles. Calhoun County boys have won a state-record 77 straight games and play for the state championship against Hemingway.
Lower Richland's girls have won 43 straight games and are trying to make it three in a row against the same team they beat in the previous two, Dorman, which is making its sixth straight trip to the finals.
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On the girls' side, J.L. Mann is playing for its third straight title and faces Myrtle Beach in the Class AAA game. Class AA's Lee Central is in its fifth title game in seven years and is looking to make it two straight against Keenan.
Neither finalist from last year's Class A title game returned, and this year's game pits C.E. Murray against Hunter-Kinard-Tyler.
Greenville's boys have played in the last two championship games and are looking to push their record to 2-1 in Columbia against Myrtle Beach, led by former Chester coach De'Andre Scott.
In the Class AAAA title game, Summerville is back and plays Spartanburg, which made the playoffs on the last night of the regular season. Spartanburg beat defending state champ Fort Mill, which beat Summerville in last year's title game, in the first round.
Southside's boys were second in Class AA last year and are back to take on Burke this time around.
Tickets are $8 for both games tonight and $10 for all day Saturday.
• DIAMOND DAY: Great Falls baseball coach Brett Blackmon and his team host the second annual "Devil of a Jam" on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at Republic Field.
This year's eight-team field includes: Buford, Chester, Indian Land, Lewisville, Nation Ford, Central, South Pointe and host Great Falls.
Each team will play a three-inning game. Subs will be up to the coach at any time. Pitchers will be allowed to warm up on any of the bullpen mounds prior to their team's contest. Everyone will be allowed to do infield warmups.
The event includes a home run contest, where each coach will throw 20 pitches to his batter. Most dingers win. If there is a tie, 10 pitches per batter will be thrown until the tie is broken.
Also included are a home-to-home contest where each player will run from the batter's box and around the bases; outfield throws where each player has three throws from left field into a screen at home; and infield quick where each team starts at third and fields a series of baseballs from the pitching machine and throws to first. Each ball must be fielded by the first baseman and returned to the catcher.
Gameday Sports and Awards is the sponsor. Admission is free and plenty of concessions will be available.
• INTROS: The Northwestern High School Trojan Booster Club is hosting the Spring 2008 Meet The Trojans on Monday night at 7 in the school's "F'' gym.
The program will introduce all NHS spring sports athletes and coaches and provide the opportunity for parents and friends to purchase Trojan apparel and join the Booster Club, which supports all NHS athletic programs.
In addition, you get to see if track coach Calvin Hudgins can maintain his streak of introducing each member of his team, which has nearly 100 members, without notes.
At the conclusion of the event, Hudgins is holding the parents' meeting for the 2008 track season. Meet The Trojans should last about an hour and the parents' meeting about 30 minutes. Please make plans to attend. All track athletes are expected to attend.
• GOLF TOURNEY: South Pointe High School is hosting a Captain's Choice golf tournament to raise funds for its after-prom party later this year. The party is held to offer students a safe choice in continuing their prom night.
The tournament is scheduled for March 21 at Pinetuck Golf Club at 2578 Tuckaway Road in Rock Hill and begins at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start.
The entry fee is $200 for a four-man team or $50 per individuals, who will be placed on a team. Food after the tournament is included in the entry fee.
Mulligans are available and accelerated tee shots are available at $5 each. Prizes go to the top three teams.
To sign up, contact Lash LaRoux at (803) 980-2175. The entry deadline is March 17.
• SUMMER HOOPS: Fort Mill High School's boys basketball team is hosting the sixth annual Fort Mill Shootout on June 13-14 for varsity teams and JV teams.
Teams will be split into three groups: Class AAAA/AAA, Class AA/A and JV. Games will be played at Fort Mill High, Nation Ford High and area middle schools. Teams can choose to play seven games in two days or four games on one day.
The cost per team is $350 for both days or $200 for one day. Hotel information is available for teams wishing to stay overnight. Interested coaches should contact Bailey Jackson at Fort Mill by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (803) 547-4672.