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Dillon High School

Former Dillon Player Bryan Grice Hoping To Build Dillon Boys’ Basketball Into A Title Contender

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

DillonBryan Grice is glad to be back home at Dillon High (3-7, 1-2) entering the stretch part of his second season as the Wildcat head boys’ varsity basketball coach, hoping for a strong finish over the final six region games of the 2019-20 season that could send his team into the AAA playoffs on a positive note.

Coach Grice played as a 6-6 center on the basketball team for three years at Dillon before graduating in 1976 and moving on to a four-year college career at South Carolina State. Coach Grice is working hard to build a winning basketball program at Dillon much like the football team has enjoyed success under former coach Paul Chapman and now hall of fame coach Jackie Hayes.

“As a player who came along in the 1970’s I am an old school coach who stresses strong defense, team unity, and playing with an unselfish attitude,” said Coach Grice who averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds a game as a senior at Dillon. “I honestly feel like high school basketball these days has been influenced too much around a players participation in AAU over the summer or at various times of the year. I feel like AAU basketball teaches players to play more as individuals and I do not think this is good for the development team unity or even getting a group of players to focus on the team concept. I feel like you have to be a good teammate first and foremost.”

After Marion, currently with a 3-0 region record, the other three playoff spots are wide open with six region contests remaining. “We can finish anywhere from second to near the bottom in our region depending on how well we play over these final region games,” said Coach Grice. “Naturally, defense will be a key to our success. We also need to do a better job handling the press teams have been putting on us this season. We can find success over the last part of the regular season by playing more as a team, and less as individuals.”

The tri-captains for the team include senior three-year starter Omar McKinley who is a senior point guard averaging seven points, two steals and six assists per game. “Omar distributes the ball well and he is also a good rebounder for us,” said Coach Grice.

The team’s top scorer and tri-captain is junior Brennen Reeves who is averaging 13 points, four rebounds, three steals, and three assists per game. “We are hoping that Brennen can increase his point production over the next few weeks because he is best shot maker,” said Coach Grice.

The remaining tri-captain is senior small forward Daizion Alford who was a key player in the Wildcat secondary that played for football championship in December. “Daizion is our best ball defender,” said Coach Grice. “He usually guards the other team’s best player.” Alford is averaging seven points, three assists and two steals a game.

Another hard-nosed Wildcat football player is holding down the power forward position in BoBo McKinnon (6-1, 160) who is averaging 8 points, six rebounds and two steals a contest. Senior Keyshawn Greer (6-5, 200) is a senior inside force player contributing strong play in the paint.

Junior point guard Jaylen McCall is usually the first player off the bench, and he can play the one or two guard slots. “He’s among our top three shooters on the team off the bench and he comes in to give us a spark on offense,” said Coach Grice. Christopher Wright subs in as a power forward, usually to give McKinnon a breather. Senior shooting guard Christian Mella comes in to provide help on offense.

Dillon’s back-up center is senior Kendrick Cabbagestalk and Ty’Quzz McCrae comes at the 2-3 and brings good energy to the court.

“I would say we go 10- deep as a team and we consistently play at least 10 of our 13 players every game.” said Coach Grice.

Coach Grice recently moved up freshman shooting guard Daniel Alford from the jayvee team. Senior Raven McCall is playing the power forward position while junior Donovan Brown is junior power forward off the bench. Zach Wilkes (6-4) is the tallest player on the team at 6-4.

“We have no returning all-region players and we are working hard to get our program established here at Dillon,” said Coach Greer. “If we can learn to box-out better under the boards and get our share of rebounds, along with learning how to beat the press better, I feel like we can a very strong finish to this season,” said Coach Grice.

Some of the player highlights this season include an 18- point performance by Reeves in a game with Lake View that the Wildcats lost by five points. Greer enjoyed his 14- rebound performance against Loris and McKinley had seven steals in a win over Aynor.

Dillon will host Loris on January 24th, play at Marion the following Tuesday, and then play Aynor on the 31st. The final three regular season games are against Cheraw on February 7, Loris on the 11th and then the Wildcats host Marion on the

The team claimed two of their wins in the Robeson County Shoot-out Holiday Tournament in North Carolina against South Columbus and Red Springs. Their third win to date came over Aynor.

Coach Grice is assisted by Stacey Smith.

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