Four local girls teams face first-round games Monday

The Grand Strand sends all four of its Class AAA schools to the girls basketball state tournament, with St. James, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Socastee playing in the first round Monday night.

Region VIII-AAA champion St. James carries a No. 1 seed into the playoffs and hosts Cane Bay (7-13), the No. 4 seed from Region VII-AAA. If the Lady Sharks (20-4) can get past Cane Bay at 6:30 p.m. at the Shark Tank, they will face the winner of Lower Richland-Lakewood game on Thursday night.

Region VIII-AAA runner-up Myrtle Beach (19-5) finds itself in the unusual position of a No. 2 seed after failing to win its seventh straight region title. The Lady Seahawks begin their two-time state title defense at home at 7 p.m. Monday against Battery Creek (5-14) and would face the winner between top-seeded Dreher and No. 4-seeded Hartsville on Thursday.

North Myrtle Beach (17-7) may be the best No. 3 seed in the tournament after losing out on the tiebreaker with Myrtle Beach, which the Lady Chiefs beat for the first time in seven years last week. They travel to No. 2-seeded Bluffton at 7 p.m. Monday and would play the Crestwood-Chapin winner on Thursday if they advance.

Photo by Rancier Photography

Socastee (9-13) earned the No. 4 seed in the region and travel to Hilton Head Island (19-5) for a 7 p.m. showdown. The winner will meet the Marlboro County-AC Flora victor on Thursday.

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