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Thomas Heyward High School
Ridgeland

Thomas Heyward basketball teams off to good start this season

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Ridgeland – Though it is early into the 2017-18 high school basketball season, the results posted by the boys and girls teams at Thomas Heyward Academy are worth taking notice.

The girls team, coached by Chris Tillotson, is off to an 8-0 start while the boys team, coached by Bob Layman, won seven of their first eight contests in early December.

The boys team managed only five wins last season but is playing much better on both ends of the court. The Rebels are averaging nearly 65 points per game while allowing just 46 points per contest.

Some of the faces are familiar but the varsity roster also has a handful of newcomers that have provided solid production in the first eight games. Freshman Zack Black has been the team’s leading scorer, averaging 10.1 points to go with 6.8 rebounds per game so far.

Sophomore Bobby Payne is adding 8.9 points per game and freshman Bruzza Pusha has added 7.6 points per game.

Senior Trace Lowther and junior Bryce Tillotson are two returning starters from last year. Lowther is averaging eight points per game early while Tillotson is averaging 7.1 points and five boards per game in the early going.

Another senior, Owen White, is averaging nearly six boards per game and senior Matt Malphrus is scoring about 4.5 points per game. Freshman JR Patterson is adding 5.4 points per game.

Other seniors listed on the roster include Logan Thomas and Dalton Steedley. Juniors Joseph Gibson, Roman Padgett and Johnny Brendlen round out the roster.

On the girls side, the Lady Rebels are averaging nearly 58 points per game while allowing only 23 points per contest. The team has beaten Holly Hill Academy and Andrew Jackson Academy twice each, with victories also over Faith Christian, the Habersham School of Georgia, Coastal Home School and St. John’s Christian Academy.

Junior Ivy Bryan is the team’s top offensive threat, averaging 15.8 points and 4.0 steals per game. Senior forward Alayna DeLong adds 10.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while junior Gabby Boyles is pulling down 9.2 boards to go with her 6.2 points per contest.

Sophomore Bayli Belger is contributing seven points and three steals per game.

Other seniors on the roster and contributing include Victoria Standard, Emma Richardson, Chelsea Schroeder and Chloe Walker.

Juniors Skylar Pope and Kindall Smith, along with sophomores Karleigh Edmonson and Olivia Pace, round out the roster this season.

Thomas Heyward hopes to contend for a region championship this season. The region favorite is Hilton Head Christian, while Colleton Prep and John Paul II have solid clubs. Also competing in the region are St. Andrews, Beaufort Academy and Hilton Head Prep.

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