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
Damien Bee, BP: The Buccaneers have been of the best stories of the young season, and they wouldn’t be where they are without the dazzling play of guard Damien Bee. The senior turned in another terrific trio of performances this week, including a triple-double in an 80-67 victory over Branchville. Bee was spectacular against the Yellow Jackets, posting 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists while adding five steals. He nearly replicated the feat twice in the same week, notching 16 points, seven boards, and eight assists at Estill before pouring 22 points with nine assists and rebounds in a narrow loss to Bamberg-Ehrhardt. With his elite motor, passing, and scoring touch, Bee has blossomed into a breakout star on a Buccaneer squad that shouldn’t be slept on in Region 6-1A.
Sean Cusano, HHP: It was a monster week for the Hilton Head Prep newcomer, powering the Dolphins to a pair of victories thanks to his dominance on the boards. Cusano was an uncontainable force in the paint, racking up a whopping 22 rebounds to go with 14 points in a convincing home region win over Bethesda Academy. He was sensational again Thursday to finish off the season sweep against a solid St. Andrew’s squad, pouring in 20 points alongside 14 rebounds, two steals, and five blocks. A versatile forward who can excel on defense and dominate on the glass, Cusano has made an immediate impact on a Hilton Head Prep team that’s looking like the class of SCISA hoops here in the Lowcountry.
Michael Dennison, BHS: The Firm of Dennison, Dennison, and Odom passed its biggest test yet on Friday night, and it was Michael who led the way. The junior center put up a stellar game against a potent Hilton Head High defense, notching a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds to hand the Seahawks their first region loss. Along with his brother James and the explosive Zyrin Odom, the lethal trio has punished opponents with a stifling effort on defense while controlling the battle of the boards on both ends. If Michael can continue to raise his game alongside his teammates, the Eagles will certainly have the talent inside plus a group of emerging guards to compete for the Region 7-4A crown.
Jashaun Gillison, WB: The Warriors have been clutch in the biggest moments this season, and Gillison delivered on Tuesday night. With just 2.3 seconds left, the senior guard drained the game-winning bucket to pull out a massive 53-52 region win at St. John’s and cap off a 12-point outing. Gillison followed up the heroics with another strong showing against Wade Hampton, scoring 15 points in a loss to the No. 2 team in Class 2A. His senior leadership and superb shot has propelled the Warriors to a perfect 4-0 Region 7-1A start, and he should be key down the stretch and into the postseason.
Amarion Wilson, BA: Wilson went nuclear for Beaufort Academy on Tuesday night, shattering the Eagles’ single-game scoring record with an astronomical 42 points and 22 rebounds in a victory over The Complete Student. He scored just six against Hilton Head Christian Academy, but his presence was felt in a major way with his outstanding hustle and defense to secure a region-opening road win. Wilson is averaging 11.1 points and 7.3 boards per game, and has been a spark on both ends to help the Eagles to a phenomenal 18-4 start.
In the rotation: Isaiah Anderson, HHCA; Deshaun Blocker, CCHS; Gavin Blocker, MRHS; Karyce Campbell, HHIHS; James Dennison, BHS; Braydon Dineen, BA; Josh Evander, MRHS; JJ Hayes, HHP; Zyrin Odom, BHS; Davion Washington, BP
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Hilton Head Prep Dolphins (2-0 this week; 9-2, 1-0 overall)
They spent nearly three weeks away from action over the holidays, but the Hilton Head Prep Dolphins surged back onto the court with a pair of statement wins over Region 4 rival Bethesda Academy and a talented St. Andrew’s squad. Big man Sean Cusano has become quite a compliment to leading scorer JJ Hayes, feasting on the glass with his 22-rebound effort against the Blazers, playing terrific interior defense, and showing his versatile offensive game at all levels. But don’t forget about Hayes, who just surpassed the 1,000 point milestone in that same game. He’s an indispensable part of the team with his standout leadership and multifaceted abilities on the floor. Kane Eanes has continued to be a reliable scorer and ball-handler for Jerry Faulkner’s motion offense, and guards Andrew Helms and Ben Frey have stepped up on the defensive end while knocking down some important outside shots. With stellar guard Ryan Mikell slated to return soon, the Dolphins’ elite talent and depth should propel them to contender status in a loaded Class 3A bracket.
Honorable Mention: Beaufort Academy (3-0), May River (1-0), Beaufort High (1-0)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Hilton Head Prep at Beaufort Academy, 7:30 p.m. Friday
A matchup that we circled on the calendar at the start of the season is finally here, as the Lowco’s top two SCISA boys programs match up in Beaufort on Friday night. Former Eagle standout Ben Frey will make his return to BA as a Dolphin, looking to pull out a crucial win on the road to cement Hilton Head Prep at the top of the region pecking order. Jerry Faulkner’s squad has been dialed-in heading into the rivalry showdown, and the dynamic duo of Sean Cusano and JJ Hayes will be a heck of a test for an athletic and scrappy Beaufort Academy group led by big man Amarion Wilson and electric guards Braydon Dineen and Sully Gay. If the Eagles can limit Prep’s production from beyond the arc and box out on the glass, we could be in line for a very competitive game. Nick Field’s group has been doubted since day one, and will undoubtedly be ready to compete against a deep and tested Dolphin unit.
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