This time last week, teams from around Class AAAA were cranking their strength-of-schedule points, required to submit their totals from the first 10 weeks in order to make the math after this Friday's games a little easier to navigate.
Socastee's figures appeared to have the Braves in solid shape to make the postseason, regardless of whether they finished third or fourth in Region VI-AAAA. But they didn't know for sure.
Thanks to a game that was otherwise meaningless in the playoff landscape, Socastee and coach Doug Illing knew there less to worry about by the time they returned home from a loss at Sumter. Carolina Forest's win over Conway negated a possible three-way between Conway, Socastee and West Florence for the final automatic bid.
That scenario didn't look good for the Braves.
Instead, only only Socastee and West Florence finished 2-3 in region play. The Braves owned the head-to-head tie-breaker, meaning their automatically in the playoffs in their first year back at Class AAAA.
Late Saturday morning, Socastee will find out its opponent and start game-planning. But it knows it is playoff bound. Goes to show that at this point in the year, a little bit of luck can go a long way.
UPDATE: Socastee will travel to Stratford in the first round on Friday.
AROUND THE AREA...
Myrtle Beach started fast, withstood a second-quarter flurry and that injury to Drayton Arnold to win big against Gilbert.
North Myrtle Beach couldn't defend its own turf, losing 35-21 to visiting Midland Valley.
Loris made quick work of yet another early playoff opponent, beating Wade Hampton 41-0.
Waccamaw went on the road to defeat Lake Marion, while Georgetown did the same at Airport. Dillon got the best of Aynor yet again, ending the Blue Jackets' season, and Socastee closed out the regular season with that loss at Sumter.
In the season finale for both teams, Carolina Forest defeated Conway, its third win over the Tigers in five years after losing the first 11 in the series.
WEEK 11 GAME BALLS:
Demetrius Hemingway, RB, Loris - The senior rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown while catching 135 yards worth of passes and adding anothers score there.
Brandon Sinclair, RB, Myrtle Beach - Sinclair tallied 88 yards on the ground, another 115 receiving and three total touchdowns in the Seahawks' first-round win.
Kevin Gasque, RB, Waccamaw - The junior continued his breakout season by rushing for 196 yards in the Warriors' win at Lake Marion.
Zaquan Collins, WR, Georgetown - Collins has been as hot as any receiver on the Grand Strand lately, and he added to his recent figures by grabbing six catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
NEXT WEEK'S SCHEDULE (All games at 7:30 p.m. Friday):
CLASS AAAA (FIRST ROUND)
No. 14 Socastee (7-4) at No. 3 Stratford (8-3)
CLASS AAA (SECOND ROUND)
No. 3 Georgetown (8-3) at No. 1 Hartsville (11-0)
No. 2 Hanahan (7-4) at No. 1 Myrtle Beach (10-1)
CLASS AA (SECOND ROUND)
No. 3 Loris (10-1) at No. 2 Ridgeland-Hardeeville (8-3)
No. 5 Waccamaw (6-5) at Dillon (11-0)