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: No triple-doubles this week for Bee, but not for lack of trying. The Bridges Prep star broke the school record with 35 points against Royal Live Oaks to open the week and put up 16 in wins over John Paul II and Allendale-Fairfax to cap off a 3-0 week averaging 22.3 points, 7.7 boards, 7.7 assists, and five steals. And that’s without his right-hand man and brother Desmond Locke, who is sidelined by an injury.
Sean Cusano, HHP: The big man in Sea Pines has started to look more comfortable in Jerry Faulkner’s offense as the season has gone on, and he’s become a central part of a formidable HHP lineup. The Dolphins are outstanding in transition in large part because Cusano runs the floor so well, and he is adept at getting to the rim and finishing. The 6-7 junior put up a pair of double-doubles this week, averaging 16.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and four blocks in two region wins.
James Dennison, BHS: The elder Dennison brother has been a force to be reckoned with all season long, but never more than this week. After amassing 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Eagles past Lucy Beckham on Tuesday, he topped himself with a ridiculous 35 points and 14 boards in a win at Colleton County on Friday. Dennison has eight double-doubles in 10 games, and he missed the other two by three boards and a single point.
Michael Dennison, BHS: It’s nearly impossible to shut down both Dennison brothers, and lately, it’s been a tall task to even slow down one of them. The younger brother kept pace with his big bro this week, putting up 24 points and 12 rebounds against Lucy Beckham and adding his fourth double-double of the season with 27 points and 15 boards against Colleton. He has scored 23 or more points in three straight games.
Mark Knight, JPII: Knight has flown a bit under the radar this season due to JPII’s backloaded schedule, but now that the Golden Warriors have hit region play, he is putting the Lowco on notice that he’s back for another year. The senior guard racked up 18 points, nine rebounds, and five steals in a tough loss to Bridges Prep, then rebounded for 23 points, nine boards, and four steals to lead JPII past HHCA in a key region matchup.
In the rotation: Deshaun Blocker, CCHS; Braydon Dineen, BA; Kane Eanes, HHP; Mykeem Gant, CCHS; JJ Hayes, HHP; Brandon Howard, THA; Jashaun Gillison, WB; Tony O’Banner, THA; Jackson Ogden, JPII; Will White, BCHS
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Hilton Head Prep Dolphins (2-0 this week; 13-2, 3-0 overall)
Time will tell just how good this Hilton Head Prep team is, because the Dolphins have beaten up on their SCISA “flex” region foes in the regular season the past couple of years without seeing the same success in the SCISA 3A playoffs. But as they showed in blowout wins at HHCA and Beaufort Academy last week, this pod of Dolphins are more polished than teams past. The Dolphins have won seven straight dating to Dec. 11, and the narrowest margin over that stretch was a 17-point win at St. Andrew’s, and they’ve done it while playing a deep rotation and developing depth, which will be beneficial in February. Transfers Andrew Helms (HHCA) and Ben Frey (BA) give the Dolphins a talented, unselfish backcourt that has done a terrific job of feeding the big three of Sean Cusano, JJ Hayes, and Kane Eanes — a trifecta that presents matchup problems for just about everyone.
Honorable Mention: Beaufort High (2-0, 7-4); Bridges Prep (3-0, 15-4); Thomas Heyward (2-0, 7-3)
GAME OF THE WEEK
May River at Beaufort High, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
We have donnybrooks lined up every week on the Region 7-4A slate, because the margin between the top and bottom of the standings is slim, and the top of the pack is grouped even more tightly in terms of talent and potential. The Sharks knocked off defending champion Hilton Head High last week, but they had a setback against an up-and-coming Lucy Beckham team for their second loss in region play. They can’t afford another at the hands of the Eagles, who are atop the standings at 4-0. May River’s terrific team defense lapsed against the Bengals, but if Gavin Blocker and James Layman can knock down outside shots and the Sharks can get back on track defensively, they might be able to frustrate Beaufort’s inexperienced guards enough to offset the Eagles’ size advantage with “The Firm” of Dennison, Dennison, and Odom.
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