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 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 Girls Hoops Spotlight presented by 4M Metals.
LOWCO STARTING FIVE OF THE WEEK
Kynew Barnwell, WB: It’s been a slow start for the Whale Branch Warriors this season, but their stellar point guard has heated up over the holidays. The senior stud exploded for 26 points against York Prep and put up another 14 – including five in the fourth quarter – to lead the Warriors past Broome for their second straight victory in the Trojan Classic. Barnwell will need to continue to elevate her game on both ends of the court for Whale Branch to put together a run in Region 7-1A.
Tacoya Heyward, BLHS: Bluffton’s dynamic sophomore guard continued her terrific start to the new campaign, powering the Bobcats to a comeback victory over Fort Mill on Wednesday at the Trojan Classic. Heyward recorded seven of a team-high 17 points in the third quarter while making numerous impact plays on the defensive end to lock up the win. She’s become one of the best all-around guards in the Lowco and could have a big month ahead as the Bobcats look to string together another perfect Region 7-4A run.
Tamya Hutchinson, HHCA: After coming over from Estill High School, Hutchinson has fit right in on Kenny Conroy’s squad. The new Eagle point guard shined in two games against Georgia opponents over the holiday break, dropping 23 points in an impressive win over Islands before scoring 16 against Richmond Hill. With her impressive guard play and shooting prowess, Hutchinson should play a key role in the Eagles’ quest for a fourth straight SCISA 2A title.
Morgan Scott, MRHS: There’s been no stopping Scott near the hoop so far this year, and the sensational sophomore put up another dominant showing for May River. The Sharks played in just one game this past week, but Scott made the moment count with 14 points and an outstanding defensive effort in a win over Hanahan. With her elite scoring and rim-protecting abilities, Scott has already developed into one of the premier forwards in the area.
Gianna Timko, HHIHS: The Seahawks have been dealt some tough injury blows early in the season, but Timko has emerged as quite a spark plug on the offensive end. A transfer out of North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Timko has brought an impressive motor and three-point shot that was on full display in the Seahawk Holiday Classic. The senior averaged 10.7 points per game over the tournament including a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards in a victory over Seneca. With indispensable forwards Lynda Young and Anna Genova potentially out for an extended period, the Seahawks may have to rely on Timko’s shot to stay in some games over the coming weeks.
IN THE ROTATION: Amirah Brown, BLHS; Ma’kayla Brown, CCHS; Makayla Chisolm, CCHS; Layla Love, WB; Abby Peduzzi, HHCA; Erin Rivers, WB; Skylar Smith, HHCA; Madi Washington, BLHS; Devon Yarde, HHCA
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Hilton Head Christian Academy Eagles (2-0 this week, 6-1 overall)
The Eagles have been lurking in the grass for the better part of the past month, but the defending SCISA 2A champs made a strong statement during the holidays against a pair of solid Georgia squads. After a three-week hiatus, the Eagles soared back to the court with a 53-38 win Wednesday over Islands before downing Richmond Hill on Thursday 56-34. They may have lost do-it-all forward Dior Shelton to graduation, but Tamya Hutchinson has taken charge with her dynamic scoring abilities alongside fellow electric guard Devon Yarde. With the terrific leadership and effort of senior Skylar Smith and junior Abby Peduzzi, the Eagles should emerge as a front-runner once again for a chance at a fourth consecutive state title. They’ll have a couple of big tests right away in the new year, including a Monday matinee at Calvary Day and a home region showdown with Beaufort Academy on Friday.
Honorable Mention: Whale Branch (2-0, 6-4); May River (1-0, 5-5)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Beaufort Academy at Hilton Head Christian, 6 p.m. Friday
One of the better girls basketball rivalries in the Lowco in recent years is renewed on Friday night, as the Hilton Head Christian Academy Eagles welcome a talented Beaufort Academy squad to their new Bluffton campus. Kenny Conroy’s group has dominated BA in the past few meetings, but the visiting Eagles have the talent to put up points in bunches with the junior duo of Mike’Ala Washington and Tahleea Heyward along with dynamic sophomore Kamirah Freeman. It should be a terrific matchup with strong defensive intensity on both ends and a collection of young and dynamic guards. This one may be Conroy’s game to lose, but Andrew Ienuso has done a fantastic job in his first year at the helm at Beaufort Academy and should give the champs a strong run on their new court.
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