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Kingstree High School

Kingstree boys remain competitive in 2018-19

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Kingstree—The Kingstree boys’ basketball team made a deep run in the playoffs last season, but lost several key contributors from that group. However, the Jaguars have performed better than most expected, going 4-3 through the early portion of its schedule.

“We were actually picked to finish last in our region and the kids saw that as a slap in the face,” said head coach Earl Brown II. “I told them to earn the right to have people wanting to talk to them. They want to prove the naysayers wrong. The kids are ready to battle and compete every night.”

Kingstree’s three losses came by a combined nine points, giving them confidence that a few slight improvements could be the difference in making a run at a conference championship.

“I really feel like we should be undefeated right now,” Brown said. “We’ve dug ourselves into deep deficits in several ballgames, but this team has something special that other teams haven’t had: resiliency. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, they truly believe that we have a chance to come out on top. We’re learning how to play the right way consistently.”

Three seniors are in the starting lineup, led by guard Direlle McGee, who is scoring 17.6 points per game.

“He has a lights out game. He can put it on the floor or shoot it, and he plays outstanding defense. He’s been more aggressive instead of deferring to other guys,” Brown said.

Tijawan Black took over at point guard while forward Cam’Ron Washington is contributing with 8.7 rebounds.

Junior wing N’Chez Alston is also scoring at a 17.6 point clip, and Jaden Swinton, another forward, is pulling down a team-high 11.2 boards a night.

Plenty of others have seen playing time off the bench, including wings John James (2.1 steals) and Deon Elmore, guard Clinton Faulton (1.3 steals), forward Tyrese Scott and point guard D’Carlo McFadden.

Guard Generio James and wings Benjamin Henderson, Lakylias Ceasar and Eddie Williams make up the rest of the Jaguars roster.

Kingstree will be tested over the holiday break as they travel to the Sweet 16 tournament in Orangeburg. The Jaguars face Berkeley in the opening round Dec. 26.

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