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Colleton Prep High School
Walterboro

Colleton Prep showing early success under new coach

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Walterboro – A natural disaster may be responsible for turning around the misfortunes of the Colleton Prep basketball program.

In October, only a few weeks before the start of preseason practices for the 2017-18 season, the Colleton Prep basketball program was in limbo as both the varsity boys and girls teams needed a coach.

In September, Hurricane Irmo blew through Florida, dismantling the Florida Keys in her wake. The storm forced Marathon High girls basketball coach Charles Brown to relocate to the Lowcountry of South Carolina, his home.

Brown came to the area without a job or a home. He and his wife are living in Summerville with friends. Brown happened to notice through an online search that Colleton Prep was seeking a basketball coach. He met with athletic director Rob Gorrell and accepted the opportunity to coach both varsity teams, as well as the junior varsity programs.

“I needed a job,” said Brown, who grew up in the West Ashley area of Charleston and played high school ball at St. Andrews High. “Colleton Prep needed me and I needed them. It’s a great challenge but I relish this opportunity.”

Brown inherited a basketball program that struggled through some disappointments last season. In fact, both head coaches were relieved of their duties before the season had ended.

“You know, they had some problems, whatever they were, but that’s really not my concern,” Brown says. “I’m coaching this year’s teams. We’re starting from scratch and what happened last year doesn’t matter now. Losing can become a habit, a bad habit. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen. The kids have been great. Their attitude is great and they are working hard. The biggest thing is getting them to buy in and they are.”

The girls team is off to a 5-1 start with several underclassmen shouldering the load. Sophomore guard Langley Harter is averaging better than 20 points per game early on and guard Anne Garrett Carter is running the point and scoring in double figures. Forward Meredith Ware is perhaps the best athlete in the school and is a dominant rebounder. The roster has a host of underclassmen this season.

“We’re still defining some roles and getting to know our personnel better but this team has a chance to make some noise if we continue to improve,” Brown said. “The sky is the limit for this team. It’s a great bunch of kids.”

The boys team has struggled to win early, losing their first six games. The Warhawks, however, were in four games and lost late, including a one-point loss to Patrick Henry Academy.

Junior guard Brandon Polk gives Brown a big-time shooter on the perimeter while 6-5 post man Jason Dennis anchors the inside. Polk is averaging more than 20 points per game this season, well above his numbers of a year ago.

“He can really shoot it and his confidence level is way up,” Brown said.

Brown says its only a matter of time before the boys team finds success, and lots of it.

“We’ve spent a lot of time on the fundamentals and learning how to play the game,” Brown said. “They show up every day and work hard. Learning how to practice and how to win each and every day is part of the process. We’re going to win some games. We just have to be patient.”

 

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