Throughout the high school boys basketball season, we’ll recognize the standouts from the previous week’s action with the Lowco Boys Hoops Spotlight presented by Rogers Electric.
We select our Starting Five of the top players of the week, along with a few standouts we’re keeping “in the rotation,” 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 Rogers Electric.
LOWCO STARTING FIVE OF THE WEEK
Karyce Campbell, HHIHS: Chane Brown was looking for a playmaker to step up after losing a standout group of seniors, and Campbell has filled the role with his explosive play at guard. He was the spark that ignited a pair of massive region comeback wins, scoring 17 points against Lucy Beckham before pouring in 19 at rival Bluffton. Campbell was a key role player from last year’s state finalist team, and he should continue to excel in a starring role with his dynamic scoring abilities and terrific defensive intensity.
James Dennison, BHS: We can’t seem to keep one of the senior partners in “The Firm” out of our starting five, and with good reason. Fresh off a phenomenal football season, the versatile senior forward is logging some serious billable hours, so to speak. The elder Dennison brother averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals in three wins this week, and he’s topped 20 points in three of the five games he has played this season.
JJ Hayes, HHP: The Dolphins’ senior star had another outstanding week, averaging 19 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and three steals in blowout wins over Habersham and Northwood Academy, and that was with the reserves getting plenty of minutes. Hayes has scored in double figures in every game this season, and he put up a season-high 23 to go with eight boards and five assists to help HHP avenge last year’s playoff loss to Northwood.
Zyrin Odom, BHS: After helping lead his Eagles to a memorable Lower State title run on the gridiron this fall, Odom has become a monster once again on the basketball court, helping “The Firm” surge to a 3-0 week and start Region 7-4A play unbeaten. The senior couldn’t be contained against Bluffton on Tuesday, scoring 24 points and adding 12 rebounds in a 67-49 rout of the Bobcats, and he averaged 15 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.7 steals on the week while using his leadership to elevate an Eagle squad that’s looking like a real region title contender.
AJ Singleton, WB: The leader of a talented and veteran Whale Branch squad that has started 6-0, Singleton is the younger cousin of former Warriors star and future Alabama Crimson Tide forward Nick Pringle, who dubbed him “next up” on Twitter. Singleton is 6-6 with a nice wingspan, and he’s varied on offense, able to work on the perimeter and score off the dribble but also do damage inside and crash the boards. He put up 19 against Battery Creek on Saturday and averaged 14.3 points and nine boards in three wins this week.
IN THE ROTATION: Damien Bee, BP; Deshaun Blocker, CCHS; Gavin Blocker, MRHS; James Dennison, BHS; Michael Dennison, BHS; Kane Eanes, HHP; Ben Frey, HHP; Mykeem Gant, CCHS; Jaylin Linder, BLHS; Kwamane Richardson, RHHS; Will White, BCHS; Qayden Turner, HHCA; Amarion Wilson, BA
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Whale Branch Warriors (3-0 this week, 6-0 overall)
The Warriors don’t always do it the easy way, and certainly not the pretty way, but Jim Raymond’s workmanlike squad finds a way to win. Unlike a year ago, this is a seasoned group led by senior AJ Singleton, a versatile forward who can create off the dribble, hit from behind the arc, and post up. Versatility has become a hallmark of Raymond’s Whale Branch teams, and the Warriors have a wealth of athletes they can plug-and-play, including senior forward Quintillion Fields, junior playmaker Jashaun Gillison, and defensive stopper Keith Chisholm. The margin of victory hasn’t always been something to marvel at, but the record is impossible to beat.
Honorable Mention: Beaufort Academy (3-0, 15-3), Beaufort High (3-0, 4-2), Bridges Prep (2-0, 10-2), Hilton Head High (2-0, 6-3), Hilton Head Prep (2-0, 7-2)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Colleton County Cougar Classic, Dec. 21-22
The Seahawks Holiday Classic has the biggest and strongest field of the local tournaments this week, and it will be worth the price of admission, but if you’re looking for some Lowco-on-Lowco action, your best hope is in Walterboro. A scrappy host team is well-positioned to advance to the championship game, where the Cougars could meet up with upstart Beaufort Academy in an intriguing public vs. private matchup. If that meeting doesn’t come to fruition, or if you’re just looking to glimpse some top-flight talent from out of the area, head to the island instead and check out the championship game.
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