COLUMBIA — When the Dutch Fork High School girls basketball team battles Greenwood on Friday night for the Class AAAA state championship, it will be attempting to collect its third consecutive state crown.
But the team Greenwood will be trying to best at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia bears almost no resemblance to the two that were so dominant in each of the last two seasons.
Where last year's Silver Foxes, anchored before by all-state center and current University of South Carolina freshman Alaina Coates, dominated their way to a perfect 29-0 season and another state championship, this year's team (18-7) features just a single player with experience from those two teams.

Coates averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds last year, bulldozing opponents en route to being named a McDonald's All-American. This year, the Silver Foxes lack that starpower, meaning the road to this year's state finals has been a bit different.
"(In previous years,) when opponents walked in and they saw that franchise player (in Coates), that was kind of scary to them," Dutch Fork coach Faye Norris said. "But now, we're just an average team, and that means we've got to play harder."