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Batesburg-Leesville High School

B-L Basketball in Full Swing

By: Jay Hendrix

 

                The Batesburg-Leesville Panthers are heading into the final stretch of the basketball season and both the boys and the girls teams are both having good seasons. 

                On the boys side of the ledger the Panthers are under first year head coach Davis Bowne.  The Panthers have had some ups and downs but overall have shown great progress in Bowne’s first season.  The Panthers, after winning just four games in 2018-19, are 7-8 overall and 2-2 in Region 2-AA play.  While the Panthers fell to Abbeville and Silver Bluff in region play they do own victories over Ninety Six and Fox Creek. 

                Senior Keshoun Williams has been one of the steadying factors on the team as he has been among the leading scorers and hit a huge three pointer late in a triple overtime win over Ben Lippen.  The senior core has been leaders according to Bowne.  “The seniors have bought in, especially the vocal leaders Keshoun, Shauntrel Hendrix and Darius Dennis.”  Bowne added “It is happening a little bit quicker on the court than I expected.  I did not expect to be 7-8 overall and 2-2 in region.  I had no idea how they would respond.  I have been really pleased how the last two or three weeks have been going” as the Panthers have finally been able to practice with a full team recently after a playoff run from football and four players involved in all-star games and combines. 

                Williams has been the leader for most of the season despite participating in two all-star football games and has been averaging 12 points per game in region play while Amah-Dre Leaphart, a sophomore, has stepped up to average 13 in region, including 22 in the loss to Silver Bluff.  Mesophia Yarbrough, another sophomore, has come on recently as a low post threat with Chamajd Hyland being a threat on the wing.  Juniors Marvin Gantt and Jahmad Barr-Williams and Jenavas Williams, who returned from a knee injury during the football season, have all had good games with Gantt stepping up as a ball handler.  With a second trip through the region lineup on the horizon Bowne stated “if we do what we are suppose to we will be  in good shape heading into the playoffs.”

The Lady Panthers are 2-1 in Region 2-AA as they head into the midway point of the region schedule.  Head coach Jessica Barr-Dennis stated “I think Saluda will win our region and we could finish anywhere from second to fourth.” 

Barr-Dennis stated “we lost two key players from last season’s team but Kiara Burton and Jaylah Barr have really come along fine.  A big surprise has been Dyani Dennis.”  Barr and Burton are both seniors and have been part of the varsity rotation for several years but Dennis is a freshman and only had a few games of varsity experience from last season.  In the Panthers recent loss to Silver Bluff Dennis came through with a career high of 22 points.  Burton and Barr have been leading scorers throughout the season and Burton came through with a game high 25 points in a key region win at Ninety Six.

                The Panthers have also received good play from Kennyana Morris in the low post and Shaniah Wigfall on the wing.  Young players such as Taliyah Corbitt, Alex Adams, Jarissa Adams and Moesha Watson have all been finding playing time in Barr-Dennis’ rotation. 

               

 

 

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