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Most of the time, I write a column after something rather than before. I write previews before. I am busy before, but I’m creative after.

This afternoon I am driving to Hopkins, which is south of Columbia and home to Lower Richland High School, which I have never visited, only driven by. Mitchell Mercer, our LCS intern, is going to Rock Hill, home of South Pointe and a playoff game against Laurens. Caleb Gilbert, my man Friday even when it’s not, is headed to Gaffney to watch T.L. Hanna. Valued part-timers Elena Davidson and Jamal Session will be in Powdersville to watch the Patriots play Wren for the 2nd time.

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Monte Dutton

When Caleb and I get back home, we will begin putting together what we can about the playoff games we are not staffing. Crescent is at Gray Collegiate. Irmo is at Westside (a part-timer is occupied elsewhere).

In basketball, Virginia Military is at Presbyterian, and Furman is at Louisville.

Caleb will pay more attention to editing photos, and I will spend more time editing stories, but as the wee hours creep along, each will cover for the other and pick up the slack wherever it is. I expect to write the 1st of my words about the Clinton-Lower Richland game at about 3 a.m. I may think of a lead paragraph on the road home and quickly type it in as soon as I can get the laptop fired.

I hope so.

On Saturday, Mitchell will be at PC-Marist, and Caleb and I will double-team Furman-VMI.

Before the latter game, I expect to tinker with a few leftovers from Friday night.

We are beginning to make a transition from football and basketball as one winds down and the other cranks up. Football is organized. We work long, long hours all weekend long. Football is all night, once a week. Basketball is at night, every night. The high schools and colleges conspire to occupy us.

Oh, the night life … ain’t no good life … buh-uht it’s … [our] life!