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Colleton County High School

Colleton County making headway under new coach


By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Walterboro – When Matthew Mullins was hired as the boys basketball coach at Colleton County High School last summer, he stated his desire to have his team be known as a defensive-minded group.

The coach says his team needed some convincing early on but they are improving, allowing 57 points per game this season. The results have been solid so far. The Cougars entered a region game against Bluffton on January 18 with a 12-7 record overall, including a region-opening win over Beaufort, 81-51. The Cougars should be right in the thick of the race for the region title.

“The team is starting to adjust to my way of thinking, which is "Everything Earned, Nothing Given," Mullins said recently. “They know that if they compete with passion every day in practice and games, it will give them the chance to be successful. But if they don't they will only be average.”

The Cougars are getting very good offensive balance this season with four players scoring in double figures. Leading the way is 6-5 senior wing Bailey Encalade, who is averaging 22.7 points per game. Encalade also pulls down 7.7 rebounds with 2.3 steals and 2.2 blocks per game.

Alex Sherrill, a junior, is averaging 20.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.7 blocked shots per outing. Senior point guard Shy Chisolm adds 13.8 points per game while junior Stephan Gadson is scoring 13.5 points while pulling down nearly five rebounds per game.

Adding more depth are senior Devlvon Farmer and sophomore point guard Antwan Griffin. Farmer is averaging 7.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game while Griffin adds nearly six points per game.

The Cougars will be a strong contender for the region 7-AAAA title this season. The league is quite balanced with no real dominant team. Mullins says the title is there for the taking and his team must be ready to compete on a nightly basis.

The other teams in the region include Bluffton, Beaufort and Hilton Head.

“Our region is really even talent-wise so I think it's out there for anybody to go get,” he said. “We have the chance to go win the region just like any other team, if we can get healthy for this stretch run and realize that each game is its own championship game. No game and no moment is less important than the next. If we can embrace that idea we'll give ourselves a chance in most games.”

Colleton County plays Hilton Head on January 25 and February 7. They play Bluffton a second time on February 5 and have a rematch with Beaufort on February 1. The Cougars also have one more non-region game on January 29 against Branchville.



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