Each week throughout the high school girls basketball season, we’ll recognize the standouts from the previous week’s action with the Lowco Girls Hoops Spotlight presented by 4M Metals.
We select an offensive and defensive player of the week, as well as a Team of the Week, and highlight the biggest game of the upcoming week.
Here’s this week’s installment of the Lowco Girls Hoops Spotlight presented by 4M Metals.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Mike’Ala Washington, BA
The sensational sophomore is off to a roaring start for the Eagles, averaging 25 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.7 steals, 2.7 assists, and 3.7 deflections to lead BA to a 3-1 start. Washington kicked off the season with a bang, pouring in 31 in a win at Clarendon Hall, and she hasn’t let up, topping 20 points in every game this season. She scored 27 in a losing effort at Beaufort High on Tuesday, then scored 20 of the team’s 42 points in a seven-point win at Porter-Gaud and dropped 20 to lead BA to a 52-46 home win in the rematch with BHS.
Also nominated: Morgan Kinlaw-Scott, MRHS; Layla Warren, BHS; Erin Rivers, WB; Tacoya Heyward, BLHS; Janiya Ferebee, HHIHS; Dior Shelton, HHCA; Maddie Heathcott, JPII; Emma Moore, HHP
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Erin Rivers, WB
Speaking of sensational sophomores, Rivers is already showing she is ready to be a more complete player for the Warriors this season. She was a monster on the boards and a great rim defender a year ago, but now her full game is rounding into form as she emerges as a scoring threat. Through two games, Rivers is averaging 12.5 points and 13.5 rebounds, and she scored a team-high 16 in a win over Class 1A No. 4 Estill in the season opener and added nine in a rout of Battery Creek. If she can avoid foul trouble, the Warriors have a perfect post complement to a tremendous backcourt.
Also nominated: Morgan Kinlaw-Scott, MRHS; Mike’Ala Washington, BA; Ki’Ayisa Moultie, BHS; Kayleigh Washington, BLHS; Chyna Fields, HHIHS; Mary Yanker, HHCA; Maddie Heathcott, JPII; Ella Clark, HHP
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Hilton Head Christian Academy Eagles (4-0 last week, 5-0 overall)
The thing about dynasties is they just keep going, and going, and going. The Eagles have picked up right where they left off after winning a second consecutive SCISA 2A title last year, reeling off five straight wins, including a couple of tough road tests. Star Dior Shelton has been easing her way back from injury but has still averaged 14 points while fighting through double-teams, and the supporting cast has proven more than capable of sharing the load. Mary Yanker has become a lockdown defender and a beast on the boards, Abby Peduzzi is scoring in bunches, and a bevy of talented young guards can light it up or drive to the rack. The Eagles will face a stern test in a holiday tournament against Georgia public school squads to close out the year, then it should be smooth sailing until the playoffs, where HHCA will be the frontrunner to make it three straight state crowns.
Honorable Mention: Beaufort Academy (3-1), Whale Branch (2-0), May River (2-1)
GAME OF THE WEEK
HHIHS at Richmond Hill, 6 p.m. Friday
The Seahawks started off the “Coach R” era with a nice 40-33 road win at Oceanside Collegiate, and Russell Raniszewski’s squad faces another tough test this week, traveling to the Peach State to take on the undefeated Wildcats. It’s a matchup of similar teams that like to grind out every possession and use their defense to fuel their offense. It will be a good measure of the Seahawks’ depth and a final tune-up before tipping off Region 7-4A play at Lucy Beckham on Dec. 15.