Each week throughout the high school boys basketball season, we recognize the standouts from the previous week’s action with the Lowco Boys Hoops Spotlight presented by Hilton Head Insurance and Brokerage.
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 Boys Hoops Spotlight presented by HHI&B.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ben VanHise, BA
“Big Ben” (not to be confused with his teammate “Little Ben” Frey) played up to his stature this week for the Eagles. He put up 19 points and nine rebounds to keep BA in a 10-point road loss to undefeated Battery Creek, then followed it up with 15 points and nine boards in a shellacking of Coastal Homeschool. (He scored 12 in a win at Lowcountry Leadership on Monday for good measure, but that technically doesn’t count in this week’s stats.) VanHise has gone up against some of the toughest defenders he will see all season in the early part of the schedule, but when the Eagles shift to region play, he will be a matchup nightmare with his ability to run the floor, shoot from the outside, and score off the dribble in a hulking frame.
Also nominated: Jackson Ogden, JPII; Rush Riley, BHS; Rashard Baker, BCHS; Kane Eanes, HHP; Devonta Barnard, WB; Trevon Brown, BLHS; Isaiah Anderson, HHCA
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jaeon Allen, BCHS
Last week it was Justin Smalls who emerged from nowhere to provide the unexpected performance that kept the Dolphins undefeated, and this week it was Jaeon Allen’s turn. Creek’s two-way football standout was an absolute monster in the paint in a 66-56 win over Beaufort Academy, collecting 16 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and six steals. With the talented backcourt the Dolphins boast, if Allen can give them this kind of production inside on a regular basis, the Creek won’t stop rising.
Also nominated: Jeremiah Young, JPII; Sully Gay, BA; Alex Smith, HHIHS; Luke Foley, HHP; Jaylen Reeves, WB
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Beaufort High Eagles (1-0 last week, 3-0 overall)
After dropping two preseason games, the Eagles went back to work to prepare for the regular season, and the results have spoken for themselves. Beaufort High blew out Beaufort Academy twice a week ago, then eased into region play with a 69-44 road win over Bluffton on Tuesday. And the Eagles looked good doing it. A senior-led backcourt has a way of doing that, and Ollie Holmes and Rush Riley are the picture of poise and production, combining for 35 points, six assists, and seven steals against the Bobcats. Riley also grabbed eight boards and fellow senior Daniel Phares had seven, but Zyrin Odom does most of the Windex work for Beaufort. The dynamic junior posted his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 boards against Bluffton, and he’s averaging 11 rebounds. Mix in fellow junior James Dennison (10.5 ppg) and the Eagles have a recipe to compete for a playoff spot in a top-heavy Region 7-4A.
Honorable Mention: Battery Creek (1-0); Whale Branch (1-0); John Paul II (1-0)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Richmond Hill at Hilton Head High, Dec. 29
It’s a light slate this week, but there are a handful of fun matchups on the schedule (at least for now) next week, including a rematch of the Seahawks’ 16-point loss at Richmond Hill on Dec. 11. The Seahawks’ first two attempts at a home opener were cancelled due to COVID-19 exposures, so the home crowd will be eager to get a look at a promising team and see how much growth coach Chane Brown’s squad has made since the first meeting with the Wildcats.
(Offensive, Defensive, Team)
Week 1: JJ Hayes, HHP; Zyrin Odom, BHS; Battery Creek
Week 2: JJ Hayes, HHP; David Smith, BCHS; John Paul II
Week 3: Ben VanHise, BA; Jaeon Allen, BCHS; Beaufort High