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
Sully Gay, BA: The Eagles keep rolling along, and so does their breakout sophomore star. Gay averages 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds over the two-week holiday period, leading BA to a 4-1 record across two tournaments, including a Cougar Classic title.
Zeke Gonzalez, BA: Gonzalez is proving he can do a bit of everything for Nick Field’s squad, and like any great point guard, he’s content to let others do the scoring. Gonzalez did put up 11.8 points per game in four contests over the last two weeks, though, and he added five rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.5 steals per outing in a stellar all-around stretch.
Zyrin Odom, BHS: His team went 0-2 over the break, falling to Pinewood Prep and Goose Creek, but it’s difficult to deny Odom a spot in our starting five after he averaged 17.0 points, seven rebounds, and 2.5 assists in the two games in the Pro Skills Basketball Showcase. The senior standout posted his second double-double in seven games this season with 25 points and 10 boards against Pinewood.
Alex Smith, HHIHS: The weapons he has around him have changed, but Smith is still the engine that makes the Seahawks go at both ends of the floor. Chane Brown’s squad has needed Smith to score a bit more this season, and he answered the call by averaging 12.2 points in five games over the holiday break, but he’s still an excellent distributor and a pesky defender at the top of the defense.
Qayden Turner, HHCA: We still haven’t seen much of this HHCA team, which backloaded the schedule to accommodate the Eagles’ annual playoff football run, but we’ve seen enough to know Turner can play. The transfer averaged 14.5 points in two games in the CPA Holiday Tournament, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team and leading HHCA to a runner-up finish.
In the rotation: Isaiah Anderson, HHCA; Gavin Blocker, MRHS; Donyae Brown, BCHS; James Dennison, BHS; Braydon Dineen, BA; Josh Evander, MRHS; Mykeem Gant, CCHS; Brandon Howard, THA; Tyshon Mansell, THA; Noah Northway, BCHS
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Hilton Head High Seahawks (3-2 this week, 9-5 overall)
The Seahawks didn’t look like a prime candidate for this space after dropping two of three in the Seahawk Holiday Classic — albeit against stiff competition — but Chane Brown’s team closed out the calendar year with a pair of impressive victories over Georgia foes to perhaps set the tone for a prosperous new year. After losing to Benedictine by 15 points in early December, Hilton Head turned the tables in a 45-40 win last Monday and followed it up with a 66-49 win over a Richmond Hill team that handed the Seahawks an overtime loss on Dec. 4. The Seahawks avoided an upset against a dangerous Lucy Beckham team to get to 2-0 in region play, and they’re still the reigning champs until someone knocks them off. Brown is developing impressive depth and has this new group of Seahawks playing his brand of team defense, so it won’t be easy to take their crown.
Honorable Mention: Beaufort Academy (4-1, 19-4); HHCA (1-1, 2-3); May River (1-0, 7-4); Thomas Heyward (2-1, 5-2)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Hilton Head High at Beaufort High, 7:30 p.m. Friday
The reigning champs against the presumptive favorites to take their title. The Seahawks play terrific team defense, but they’ll have a tough matchup with the Eagles and “The Firm” of Dennison, Dennison, and Odom. The ferocious frontcourt trio of James and Michael Dennison and Zyrin Odom has been nearly unstoppable, and all three are still finding their basketball legs after a run to the state championship football game. If the Seahawks can pressure Beaufort’s inexperienced guards and make things difficult for “The Firm” in the paint, they’ll have a shot at staying on top of Region 7-4A, but only if dynamic guards Alex Smith and Karyce Campbell are on top of their game.
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