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Pinewood Prep High School
Summerville

By Roger Lee

 

Summerville – The Pinewood Prep Boys Basketball team didn’t have its finest season, but for the most part was competitive.

The Panthers advanced to the state quarter-finals of the SCISA playoffs before they were eliminated with a 70-51 loss to Trinity Byrnes from Darlington. Pinewood finished with a 16-15 record.

“We were on the short end of games decided by 5 points or less,” Pinewood coach Pat Eidson said. “We have traditionally been on the positive side of those games. We struggled all year on late-game execution. I think once we started losing close games, it began to erode our confidence. We could have easily had a 20-win season if some of those close games early in the season had gone our way.”

Cohen Gaskins led the Panthers in scoring, averaging 23.5 points per game. Gaskins was the second leading scorer in the Lowcountry. He was also the Panthers’ leading rebounder with 8.7 per game.

Tariq Shabbazz was Pinewood’s second leading scorer, averaging 17.8 points per game while also averaging 3.8 assists per game. Price Lenoir averaged 9.4 points per game and took on the role of defensive stopper. The team’s 6-foot-10 center also helped anchor Pinewood’s defense.

Lance Saulisbury was by far our most improved player,” Eidson said. “He became a big-time rim protector who averaged 4.1 blocks per game. We started four juniors and a sophomore so we have a strong team returning next year.”

Other members of the team are Nashon Hudson, Collin Briscoe, Ray Cherisol, Logan Stern, Jaa Scott, Song Song, Phillip Hoos, Kevin Chai, Ben Brown and Josh Higuchi.

Panther Grapplers

Pinewood wrestler Noah Kessler qualified for this year’s SCISA State Individuals tournament. Kessler advanced all the way to the 120-pound championship match Feb. 15 before he lost by technical fall to Hammond’s Sam DuBose.

Panther Baseball

The Pinewood Baseball team took its lumps last season and didn’t make the playoffs. But expectations are high for the team this year.

Pinewood has 10 players returning from a team that started nine freshmen last year so while the team is young it isn’t without varsity experience.

“Everyone coming back to the team is bigger, stronger and faster,” Pinewood coach Jay Buddin said. “They have a full season of game experience to build on and the game is slowing down for them.”

Colin McMicking is the team’s sole senior. Pinewood has three transfer students who are all juniors expected to make an immediate impact. Ben Beckwith transferred from Summerville; Aidan Bisbano transferred from Ashley Ridge and Matt Morris moved to the area from Texas.

The rest of the team is comprised of sophomores who played for the Panthers last season.

While practically everyone on the roster has some experience on the mound, all-state hurler Cooper Robinson, Bisbano and Beckwith will do much of the pitching.

“We will rely on those three, but we have a lot of good arms,” Buddin said. “You have to keep your arms healthy so that will factor in but we have good talent that can help us make adjustments when needed.”

Bisbano and Weston Hickerson will anchor the Panthers’ middle infield. Noah Cadiz and Luke Hartig will both spend a lot of time behind the plate. McMicking, Robinson, TJ Hatchett and Alec Rehegan will see a lot of action on the corners of the infield.

Trey Blume, Matt Morris and Beckwith will anchor the outfield.

Parker White and Danny Flatt are two of the team’s more versatile athletes and will likely play at multiple positions.

Pinewood hit the ball well this preseason. Cadiz led the way at the plate, batting .325. Robinson had the most success on the mound.

Hal Hess, Timmy Wiand, Jimmy Harrell and Craig Nestor are serving as Buddin’s assistant coaches this season.

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