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
Sean Cusano, HHP: The big man in Sea Pines is becoming a fixture in our starting five because he presents a tremendous matchup problem most nights, and he was an easy pick this week after averaging 19.5 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and 3.5 blocks in a pair of wins. At 6-7, Cusano can dominate with his back to the basket, but he’s at his best when he’s facing the rack and using his long frame and athleticism to finish at the rim. The talented junior can also run the floor in the Dolphins’ transition offense, and he’s a terrific defender in the paint.
James Dennison, BHS: You can pencil in the senior Dennison brother for a double-double at this point, and you might as well go ahead and use a Sharpie. JD has posted double-digit points and rebounds in 11 of his 13 games this season, including six of the last seven. The Eagles played only one game this week, but it was a huge one, and Dennison delivered with 25 points, 11 rebounds, five steals, and three assists in a 72-63 win that put Beaufort alone at the top of the Region 7-4A standings.
Garvin Douglas, MRHS: It has been quite a week for Douglas, who earned a spot in our starting five with two terrific performances for the Sharks and capped it off by announcing his commitment to play football at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College on Monday. A star quarterback on the football field, Douglas does a bit of everything on the court, and his strength and athleticism continues to pay dividends. He had a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards in a loss to James Island to start the week and led the Sharks with 14 in a win over Bluffton on Friday.
Brandon Howard, THA: It was a busy week for Howard and the Rebels, who played three times in five days, including a pair of region battles with John Paul II in which “Budda” was smooth. He racked up 23 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and four steals to lead a second-half comeback before falling in OT at JPII on Monday, led the Rebels with 14 in a loss to juggernaut Hilton Head Prep on Tuesday, and rebounded with 29 points, 11 boards, four assists, and four steals in a revenge win over the Golden Warriors on Friday.
Zac Morris, HHIHS: The Seahawks seemed to find another gear in a pair of impressive wins last week, and Morris’ emergence as a go-to scorer was a big part of it. Morris is a hard-nosed player who has a bit of an edge and doesn’t back down from a challenge. He has confidence in his stroke from the outside and can get to the rim off the dribble, and if he can continue to average 16.5 points like he did last week alongside dangerous guards Alex Smith and Karyce Campbell, the Seahawks could be a dangerous team down the stretch.
In the rotation: Jake Alvarez, BHS; Isaiah Anderson, HHCA; Adam Buckner, CCHS; Michael Dennison, BHS; Braydon Dineen, BA; Sully Gay, BA; Jashaun Gillison, WB; JJ Hayes, HHP; Jackson Ogden, JPII; AJ Singleton, WB
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Beaufort High Eagles (1-0 this week; 10-4, 7-0 overall)
It was a one-game week for the Eagles, but it was a very big game, and they gave a very big performance. Jeremy Huff’s team solidified its status as the frontrunner in Region 7-4A with a gutsy 72-63 win over a tough James Island team, and the Eagles have begun to address some of the concerns that emerged early in the season. The return of senior Jake Alvarez has solidified the backcourt, and the expedited development of point guard Anderson Jones gives Beaufort a pair of guards who understand their role and create hustle plays to complement “The Firm” of Dennison, Dennison & Odom. The Eagles are still flying under the radar and lurking outside the top 10 in Class 4A, but their performance against the Trojans showed that a subpar performance against Bluffton last week was an anomaly.
Honorable Mention: Beaufort Academy (2-0, 27-5); Hilton Head Christian Academy (2-0, 6-9); Hilton Head High (2-0, 12-8); Hilton Head Prep (2-0, 14-2); Whale Branch (3-0, 13-6)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Beaufort High at Hilton Head High, 7:30 p.m. Friday
The Eagles have made it this far without suffering a region loss, but in a league in which the margins between the top five teams have been razor thin, it seems unlikely anyone could run the table. The Seahawks put up quite a fight on Lady’s Island on Jan. 7, pushing the Eagles to the brink in a 66-59 game, and Chane Brown’s team might have had its best week of the season last week. Beaufort’s big men gave the Seahawks fits in the first meeting, though, and slowing them down will be a tough task, even for a hot HHIHS team at home.
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