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Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School
Ridgeland

R-HHS boys ready to defend conference crown

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Ridgeland—It was a heartbreaking end to the 2016-17 season for the Ridgeland-Hardeeville boys’ basketball team, falling in the third round of the playoffs on a buzzer-beater against Brookland-Cayce. The Jaguars brought back three starters this winter and are off to a 5-0 start.

“Coming into the season, we returned 12 kids from last year’s team. Our biggest concern was the point guard position, where we lost about 75 percent of our offense,” head coach Jeremiah Faber said. “Last year we had a one-two punch. This year we’re more balanced.”

Leading the way early on is point guard Rashamel Butler, who is putting up 19 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. Also returning to the lineup are guards Devin Butler (9.3 points) and Diamonte Robinson (13.7 points, 3.7 steals).

“Rashamel has stepped in and solidified the point guard position for us. He’s doing an excellent job. He’s the leading scorer, rebounder, and leads in assists on the team. He’s gotten good support from Devin and Diamonte,” Faber said.

Joining them in the initial rotation are forwards Jabari Williams and William Westbrook. Williams has recorded 8.3 points and 4.0 boards while Westbrook is scoring 6.5 points a night.

“They’re some kids that didn’t get a whole lot of playing time last year. Jabari had 18 points against Woodland, and Westbrook does a great job defending and rebounding for us,” Faber said.

The Jaguars use a multitude of players off the bench, including guards Jertaveon Smalls, Sameel Ford, Marlon Harley and Da’Monta Pusha (12 points), forward E.J. Hargrove, and centers Myles Pinckney and Amir Wilson.

Center Amee Parker, a transfer from Beaufort High, guards Tyric Smith and Dequandre Hamilton, and forwards Ronald Zimmerman and Derald Nelson are also on the roster.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville will compete in a Christmas tournament at Bluffton during the holiday break before opening its defense of the Region 8-AAA championship Jan. 9 against May River.

“Since I’ve been coaching, we’ve always hung our hat on defense. That’s going to be the cornerstone of whatever success we have. That’s never going to change. We’re going to have to bring the effort every night on the defensive end of the floor,” Faber said.

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