South Carolina basketball fans in the Columbia area had the chance to witness something special on Wednesday.
River Bluff High School in Lexington played host to the Chick-fil-A Classic, and one of the best-ever high school matchups took place. South Carolina basketball signee Joyce Edwards and uncommitted Sarah Strong have been ranked the top-2 players in the class of 2024 for a long time, trading the top spot back and forth. Heading into the Camden High School-Grace Christian School matchup, Strong held the top spot, and Edwards was ranked 2nd.
The game was close the whole way (with the exception of a quick run that put Grace Christian up 10 before an answer from Camden brought the game to a tie again). The two top players in the land showed themselves to be special as they combined for 58 of the game's 110 points.
Strong had the slight scoring edge (31-28) and did most of her damage from the outside, shooting 7-10 from behind the arc. Edwards didn't score any of her points from 3-point shots but scored 27 anyway. Edwards was the better player on defense, however, swatting 5 shots and stealing the ball 3 times. Her presence in the paint also kept Strong outside far more than usual.
In the end, Strong and Grace Christian won a barnburner 58-52 as Camden had a chance to tie the game in the final minute before free throws and a late turnover allowed the Crusaders to pull away by a few more points.
Strong's impending college decision does not have an announced timetable. She is believed to be choosing from South Carolina, UConn, LSU, UCLA, Louisville, NC State, and North Carolina; UConn and LSU have been viewed as the favorites in her recruitment, but she has kept most of her recruitment thoughts close to the vest. Her father Danny Strong played high school ball at Great Falls High School in South Carolina before playing at NC State and professionally overseas.