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
Kane Eanes, HHP
This guy. A promising 3-point threat for the Dolphins as a freshman, Eanes has developed into a full-on star as a sophomore. He has scored in double digits in nine of the past 10 games (props to Beaufort Academy for interrupting the streak) and went wild in three games last week, averaging 19.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.3 steals — and just 2.3 turnovers. He can still shoot the 3 — he hit seven of them this week, including four while posting a career-high 26 points in a win over HHCA on Tuesday — but Eanes has grown into so much more.
Honorable Mention: Will McCracken, HHIHS; JP Peduzzi, HHCA; CJ Dixon, CPA; James Dennison, BHS; Silas Holmes, CCHS; Ben VanHise, BA; Jeremiah Young, JPII
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Daniel Phares, BHS
Phares isn’t the flashiest player on a talent-laden roster, but he is one of the primary catalysts for the Eagles’ success due to his incredible motor and work ethic. He sees the court well — much like he saw the football field well in an impossibly successful midseason transition from receiver to option quarterback as a junior — and puts himself in positions to be successful. Phares quietly had a monster game in the Region 7-4A quarterfinals against Bluffton, putting up 20 points, nine rebounds, and five steals to lead the Eagles to a victory that ultimately sealed their at-large berth in the Class 4A playoffs.
Honorable Mention: Jayden Chance, HHP; Will McCracken, HHIHS; JJ Hayes, HHP; Malone Kinard-Huisinger, JPII; Dorian Gant, CCHS; Melvin Teal Jr., CPA; Sully Gay, BA
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Hilton Head High Seahawks (2-0 last week, 12-2 overall)
This is getting repetitive, but in a season marred by inconsistency, the Seahawks have been rock solid, and they seem to be peaking at the right time. Will McCracken is a revelation, a once-in-a-generation type talent who can take over a game when needed and makes everyone around him better. Never was that more evident than in the Seahawks’ 79-35 rout of Colleton County in the Region 7-4A semifinals, a trap game if ever there was one. McCracken scored only 14 points — a far cry from his school-record 43 or even the 31 he threw up in a 69-54 win over James Island a week ago — but the supporting cast was aces. Big man Sam Summa, athletic phenomenon Jaylen Sneed, 3-pointer bomber Adam Clark, and cerebral point guard Alex Smith complement McCracken to for as strong a starting five as the Lowco has seen in a minute, and we can’t wait for Round 3 with James Island and a seemingly imminent playoff run.
Honorable Mention: Hilton Head Prep (2-0), Colleton County (1-1), Beaufort High (1-1)
GAME OF THE WEEK
James Island at Hilton Head High, 6 p.m. Thursday (Region 7-4A championship)
Obviously. They say it’s tough to beat a good team three times in a season, and the Seahawks will have to put that conventional wisdom to the test in Round 3 with the Trojans. The first game was a nail-biter, with HHIHS escaping with a 55-51 home win on Jan. 19, but the Seahawks were in control from the outset in a 69-54 victory at James Island last week. The matchup seems to be a good one for the Seahawks, who defend the perimeter well, which is critical against the Trojans’ dynamic backcourt led by 3-point specialist Bailey Wiseman. If HHIHS gets into foul trouble or can’t get shots to fall early, this one could get dicey, but the Seahawks have been the picture of consistency, so we expect more of the same — and the home-court path to the Lower State finals that comes with it.
(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
Week 4: Will McCracken, HHIHS; JJ Hayes, HHP; Whale Branch
Week 5: JJ Hayes, HHP; Melvin Teal Jr., CPA; May River
Week 6: Will McCracken, HHIHS; Will McCracken, HHIHS; Hilton Head Prep
Week 7: Ben VanHise, BA; Melvin Teal Jr., CPA; Hilton Head High
Week 8: Kane Eanes, HHP; Daniel Phares, BHS; Hilton Head High