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Top Boys’ Basketball Players & Coaches From Throughout South Carolina To Be Honored At Seawells From The 2018-19 Season This Sunday

Top Boys’ Basketball Players & Coaches From Throughout South Carolina To Be Honored At Seawells From The 2018-19 Season   This Sunday  

Note: This article will appear in the souvenir winter all-state banquet issue for exclusive distribution at event at Seawells on Sunday April 14th At 3 p.m.

From Staff Reports

Columbia—The 2018-19 basketball season in South Carolina produced many boy’s major college prospects, and several of them are with us today in the Grand Ball room of Seawells where they are joined with fellow all-state honorees including Coaches and Players of the Year from five SCHSL programs and three SCISA programs from across South Carolina.

The parity between top level SCHSL and SCISA boy’s talent has been evident the past few years with players like Zion Williamson of Spartanburg Day going on to star at Duke this season after earning the past two HSSR Mr. Basketball awards from all levels in the state. This year Porter-Gaud star Josiah James, who signed with Tennessee in November, has earned the 2018-19 HSSR Mr. Basketball award after an outstanding career with the Cyclones.

The HSSR attended his announcement to the Vols in mid-September. James, a 6-6 combo-guard is ranked as the country’s 14th best prospect by rivals, and he chose the Volunteers over Duke and Clemson.

"I've always dreamed about this moment as a kid and for it to finally be here is that dream come true,” said James.  “I feel like I found a home at Tennessee. They have been recruiting me the longest. On my visit I fell in love with everything - the coaching staff, the players and the environment. It was where I felt I could become a better person and a better basketball player. It was where I felt most wanted. They did a great job recruiting me."

James says Tennessee was the first to offer him with coach Rick Barnes extending an offer prior to his freshman year at Porter-Gaud. Being first mattered a lot, especially after receiving more than 40 official scholarship offers over the last two years.

James’s high school coach John Pearson said this of his prized recruit. “His length and his versatility make him a great prospect.  He’s still developing, and he has a tremendous upside as a player. You don’t get the kind of attention he got from so many schools without being a great player.”

James was also named the Gatorade Player of the Year in South Carolina for the 2018-19 season and he earned a coveted spot on the McDonalds All-American team. As a senior he averaged 29.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, 5.3 blocked shots and 4.9 assists a game.

Taking HSSR-SCHSL Statewide Player of the Year honors today at Seawells is South Carolina signee Trae Hannibal (6-2, 210), a point guard with a great upside from Hartsville High. Hannibal averaged 27 points and 8.6 rebounds his senior season for the Red Foxes.

Over his 50- game three-year varsity career at Hartsville Hannibal averaged 18.3 points, 8 rebounds, five assists and 2.3 steals making him a solid next level point guard who should get early playing time with the Gamecocks.

The AAAAA HSSR-SCHSL Player of the Year is highly recruited junior guard Myles Tate (6-0, 170) of Dorman who helped his team win their third consecutive state title over Berkeley in early March. Tate had 19 points in the title game and averaged 17 points a game for the season. The AAAA Player of the Year is senior point guard Walyn Napper of Ridge View who helped lead his team to their second straight title by scoring 16 points, grabbing five rebounds and distributing 8 assists.  In AAA boy’s action the Player of the Year is awarded to Dillon Jones of Keenan a top rated 6-6 junior who had 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in the championship game.

The HSSR-SCHSL AA Player of the Year is Gray Collegiate senior point guard Tommy Bruner who scored 19 points and dished out six assists in leading his team to their second straight state title. In Class A the Player of the Year is High Point Academy’s Jaydan Byrd who led his team to the school’s first ever state title. Byrd knocked down five of six three- point shots and he finished with 29 points to lead his team to a title.

With James leading the superlatives in SCISA boys’ basketball the HSSR-SCISA Statewide Player of the Year is Chico Carter, a 6-2 senior point guard from Cardinal Newman who averaged 24.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and four assists per game in leading his team to the AAA title. The HSSR-SCISA AAA Co-players of the Year are also two outstanding football prospects.  Mikey Dukes, a guard at First Baptist opted to sign with Clemson as a running back in football while Burch, among the most sought-after defensive lineman in the nation for next season, attends Hammond.

In the HSSR-SCISA AA category Player of the year honors goes to versatile Avern Montague of Hilton Head Prep who scored 15 points and added 10 rebounds in the Dolphins winning the state title.  In Class A another “Ja Morant” type point guard is just waiting for major college offers in junior Zyan Gilmore who had 16 points and 8 assists in leading his team to the Class A title.

The HSSR/SCHSL Statewide Boy’s Coach of the Year honors went to Thomas Ryan of Dorman as his Cavaliers have now won three straight state titles under his tutelage. “We had high expectations and the thrill of winning is awesome,” said Coach Ryan from the court after the win. “Winning three in a row means that I have great players. There are so many things I have in place at Dorman High School that makes it a special place to coach.”

The HSSR-SCHSL AAAAA Coach of the Year is Berkeley head coach Joe Wallace who led the Stags into the finals against Dorman. “What an historic season we had,” Wallace said after the game. “Our community, for the last month or so, have done a great job of supporting us and we really appreciate that. They rallied around us and tonight felt like a home game. The guys worked hard this year. We accomplished all of our goals, except one.”

The HSSR-SCHSL AAAA Coach the Year is a repeat superlative from last year in Ridge View’s Yerrick Stoneman who spent a decade as a top assistant at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia before taking over coaching duties with the Blazers. “Back-to-back titles means that I have good players,” said Coach Stoneman after the game. “It’s not necessarily coaching. The players are out there putting in the work. We have great players in that senior class, not only on the court, or the football field, but in the community as well.”

Veteran head coach Zach Norris of Keenan won his sixth state title with the Raiders and has earned HSSR-SCHSL AAA Coach of the Year honors. “Our senior starters Asanti Price, Q’Dardrius Sanders, and Latrell Taylor, plus juniors Dillon Jones and Raekwon Heath all played well, especially in the second half,” said Coach Norris. “It’s hard to say but this might be the most talented team all-around that I’ve coached at Keenan.”

In AA, Dion Bethea of Gray Collegiate is the HSSR-SCHSL Boys Coach of the Year as his team won their second straight title.  “Man, it feels great to win two in a row and everybody was talking about other team’s great defense’s coming into the finals this weekend, but I will put my team up against anyone because we play great defense too, and it showed today,” said Coach Bethea after the game. “The whole team played well today, and it was a big team win.”

In Class A head coach Marcus Watts led his team to their first ever Class A title and he is the HSSR-SCHSL Class A Coach of the Year. “I told the boys that the narrative coming into the title game was that we shoot the ball well.” said Watts after the championship. “I told them that after the game that I wanted it to change and that these boys can defend well also. I think we showed that tonight.”

In the HSSR-SCISA Coach of the Year ranks the Statewide Coach of the Year is Anthony Reitenour of Clarendon Hall who led his Saints to a 29-0 perfect season. “Our goal this season was to be the best basketball team we could be, to improve every game, and to ultimately win a championship so we are proud to have accomplished our goals this season,” said Coach Reitenour. “The undefeated part is just a reward for all the extra work our players put in during the season and starting last summer with summer ball.”

Phillip Deter is the HSSR-SCISA AAA Coach of the Year from state champion Cardinal Newman while the HSSR-SCISA AA Coach of the Year is 40-year coaching veteran Jerry Faulkner of Hilton Head Prep and Josh Barnes, who has done a good job establishing the program at Andrew Jackson Academy is the HSSR-SCISA Class A Coach of the Year.


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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