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Porter Gaud High School
Charleston

Porter-Gaud hoopsters preparing for final stretch

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Charleston – With less than a month of games remaining in the 2018-19 schedule, the basketball teams at Porter-Gaud are trying to peak for the final run to the SCISA state playoffs.

Barring a collapse, it appears both teams have a good shot to earn a spot in the AAA bracket in February. That is, if they can take care of their remaining business in region play.

The boys team suffered a rare region loss on January 15th, dropping a league game to First Baptist, 81-72. The Cyclones have been a dominant force in the region for the last three years but coach John Pearson has a host of new faces in the lineup this season.

First Baptist, with a bevy of talented seniors, is expected to contend for the AAA state title so a loss to the Hurricanes may not have been totally unexpected. The loss, which ended a six-game winning streak, dropped the Cyclones to 13-8 overall and 1-1 in region play against an extremely competitive schedule.

The region rematch with First Baptist will come on January 29th. The Cyclones have another region game with Pinewood Prep, two with Northwood Academy and a non-conference game with Hilton Head on the remaining schedule.

Pearson has the state’s best player in senior guard Josiah James, who was recently nominated for the McDonald’s All-American game. James, a University of Tennessee signee, is shouldering a heavy load offensively as the only player that averages in double figures.

Through 20 games, James is averaging 25.9 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. He also dishes out 6.2 assists, averages 5.2 blocks and 3.6 steals per game. James never averaged more than 11 points per game in a season before this year but didn’t have to because of the talented around him. He has showed his total offensive game this season.

Pearson is working in a host of underclassmen this season. Junior post Chase Cannon is a potential college prospect on the inside. Guards Donovan Frederique, Jett Kirshtein, Chai Kirshtein and Tobias Lafayette are in the mix for playing time, along with sophomores Matt Kelly, Heyward Britton, and freshman Anders Groves.

Coach Kevin Ziman’s girls team is 9-5 overall and 2-1 in region play, posting early league wins over Ashley Hall and Pinewood Prep.

Offensively, the team is led by junior Elise Pearson, who averages 14.6 points per game. She also is good for 3.1 assists and 4.6 steals per outing.

 Freshman post Emmy Keogh is among the leading rebounders in the state, pulling down 13.1 boards per game. Senior Becky Van Kirk is averaging 5.6 rebounds and is close to double figures in scoring. Halle Kilburn averages 3.2 assists per game as a starting guard. Kilburn and Van Kirk are two of four seniors on the roster this season, joining Eleanor Lee and Savannah Flagg, who come off the bench for the Cyclones.

Junior Clark McAuley is the fifth starting player on the floor. Other juniors playing supporting roles include McCalla Hanckel, Louisa Kuhn, Lyles Parsell and Wallace Ann Whatley.

Sophomores Lauren Simmons and Callie Harper, and freshman Kennedy Burnett also come off the bench.

 

 

 

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