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Boys Basketball Team Capsules: Observer-area South Carolina

York Prep junior DJ Burns is one of South Carolina’s top boys high school basketball players
York Prep junior DJ Burns is one of South Carolina’s top boys high school basketball players

Here are previews for boys basketball programs in the Observer’s coverage area in South Carolina. The profiles were put together by Observer correspondent Jay Edwards.

To see more county previews, visit this link

CENTRAL PAGELAND

Head Coach: Charles Brown (1st year as Central Pageland basketball coach; 4 years as J.V. coach).

2016-17 Record: 14-7 (7-5 in Region IV, AA).

2017-18 Conference: S.C. Region IV, AA.

Returning Starters (5): Kevon Wall, Sr., G (5-10); Quan Chambers, Sr., G (5-11); Devin Rushing, Jr., C (6-4); Caleb Cofield, Jr., G (5-9); Broughton Hatcher, Sr., F/C (6-5). Key Newcomers: Robert Price, Fr., G/F (6-0); Brandon England, Jr., G (6-1).

Outlook: Central Pageland notched their 1st winning season since 2008-09 with a 14-7 record last year. This year, the Eagles look to carry that momentum with all five starters back led by guards, Wall (15 ppg), Chambers (11 ppg) and center, Rushing (10 ppg, 10 rpg). Central Pageland has the balance, senior leaders and talent to challenge for the Region IV, AA title and make a playoff run, after losing in the opening round of the postseason last year.

--JAY EDWARDS

CLOVER

Head Coach: Bailey Jackson (5th year as Clover basketball coach).

Coaching Career Record: 263-193.

2016-17 Record: 16-7 (5-3 in the Region IV, AAAAA).

2017-18 Conference: Region IV, AAAAA.

Returning Starters (2): Hezekiah Massey, Jr., G (6-3); Andrew White, Sr., F (6-4).

Other Key Returnees: Markus Natese, So., G (6-2). Key Newcomers: Kendall Strout, Sr., F (6-5); Ladarian Adams, So., G (5-11).

Outlook: Clover had posted three straight winning seasons, including a 16-7 mark last year. The Blue Eagles will look to Massey and White to lead Clover to another winning campaign and playoff berth, where they will be eager to get past the opening round.

--JAY EDWARDS

COMENIUS

Head Coach: Greg Jones (2nd year as Comenius basketball coach).

2016-17 Record: 25-9 (5-2 to win Charlotte Area Christian Basketball Conference (CACBC).

2017-18 Conference: Charlotte Area Christian Basketball Conference.

Returning Starters (6 including part-time starters): Nilous Hodge, Sr., G (6-3); Brandon Burford, Sr., PG (6-1); Anthony Chaffey, Sr., SG (6-3); Quincey Oglesby, Sr., G (6-4); Monte Horne, Sr., G (5-11); Benjamin Inetambor, Sr. G (6-4).

Other Key Returnees: Chandler Speight, So., G (6-1); Nishawn Hodge, So., G (6-2). Key Newcomers: Dillon Harrison, Jr., SG (6-6); Akum Ben Salah, Jr., G/F (6-7); JaQuese Hemphill, Jr., G (6-1); Jaquan Hemphill, Jr., G (6-2); Josh Rubio, So., F (6-6); Loril Thomas, So., F (6-8).

Outlook: Comenius has won 48 games in the last two years, including a 25-9 record a year ago. This season, with all their starters back, led by seniors Burford (15 ppg), Hodge (13 ppg) and Horne (11 ppg), and a host of promising newcomers, the Knights look to post another 20-plus win season, and their 3rd straight conference title in the process.

--JAY EDWARDS

FORT MILL

Head Coach: Dwayne Hartsoe (7th year as Fort Mill basketball coach).

2016-17 Record: 19-6 (6-2 in S.C. Region IV, AAAAA).

2017-18 Conference: S.C. Region IV, AAAAA.

Returning Starters (0): None.

Other Key Returnees: N/A. Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: Fort Mill has won 41 games in the last seasons with back-to-back region titles, which won’t be easy to match without any starters returning. But Coach Hartsoe knows how to win and pulled off a similar feat last year. No one will be surprised if Fort Mill finds a way to be right back in thick of the Region IV, AAAAA race and the playoffs.

--JAY EDWARDS

GREAT FALLS

Head Coach: Jimmy Duncan (2nd year as Great Falls’ basketball coach).

2016-17 Record: 11-9 (5-5 in S.C. Region II, A).

2017-18 Conference: Region II, A.

Returning Starters (4): Zy’Derrick Jordan, Jr., PG (5-11); Kelton Talford, So., F (6-5); Sincere Wilmore, So., G (5-9); Tommy Belk, Sr., F (6-4).

Other Key Returnees: Kell Brown, So. G (5-10); Donnell Adams, So., G (5-11). Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: Great Falls returns four starters from an 11-win team that likes to play at a fast pace, with high pressure on both sides of the court. The Red Devils have the experience in Belk, Jordan, Talford and Wilmore to compete for a region title and make a playoff run. Coach Duncan, who took over for the legendary, John Smith (47-year as head coach) last year, knows there are high expectations every year at Great Falls (10-time state champion) and is eager to help his team add to their championship tradition.

--JAY EDWARDS

INDIAN LAND

Head Coach: Nate Smith (15th year as Indian Land basketball coach).

Coaching Career Record: 141-115.

2016-17 Record: 6-16 (3-5 in S.C. Region IV, AAA).

2017-18 Conference: S.C. Region IV, AAA.

Returning Starters (4): Destin Clark, So., G (6-2); Jerrick Palmer, Sr., G (6-0); Douglass Tutt, Sr., G (5-11); Jordan Logan, Sr., F/C (6-5).

Other Key Returnees: Dorian Williams, Jr., F (6-2). Key Newcomers: Tyree Sistare, Jr., G (5-7); Grayson Barber, Jr., C/F (6-7).

Outlook: Indian Land suffered through their worst season in a decade last year at 6-16 overall. This year, the Warriors should be much improved with the lightning quick backcourt of Clark (9 ppg), Palmer (12 ppg) and Tutt (8 ppg) as well as the plenty of size in Barber (6-foot-7) and Logan (6-foot-5) in the frontcourt. Indian Land looks to move up the region standings and earn a more favorable playoff seed.

--JAY EDWARDS

LANCASTER

Head Coach: Ricardo Priester (13th year as Lancaster basketball coach; 16th year overall).

2016-17 Record: 7-17 (0-10 in S.C. Region III, AAAA).

2017-18 Conference: S.C. Region III, AAAA)

Returning Starters (2): Remington Totten, Sr., F; RonJ Stevenson, Jr., G. Key Newcomers: Romeo Stevens, So., F; O’mazeaon "Dude" Tinsley; Janyle Pittman, Fr., G.

Outlook: Lancaster has had only one winning season in the last five years. This year, life doesn’t get any easier with two starters back in Totten and Stevenson in a tough region. But, Coach Priester is a proven winner is 13 years at Lancaster and will find a way to get his team going back in right direction.

--JAY EDWARDS

LEWISVILLE

Head Coach: Michael McCray (4th year as Lewisville basketball coach).

Coaching Career Record: 50-24 at Lewisville.

2016-17 Record: 19-7 (10-0 to win S.C. Region II, A).

2017-18 Conference: S.C. Region II, A.

Returning Starters (4): Mikial Fourney, Sr., G (6-2); Demetric Hardin, So., PG (6-3); Jadakiss Talford, Jr., F (6-3); Maurice Grant, Jr., SG (6-2). Key Newcomers: Devon Busby, PG (5-10); Jasahwn Jason, SG (5-10); Montez Moore, PG (5-8).

Outlook: Lewisville won 14 of their last 16 games a year ago before a 72-71 heartbreaking loss to Hemingway in the A state championship ended their season. This season, the Lions have plenty of motivation and four starters back in Fourney (16 ppg), Hardin (11 ppg, 6 apg), Talford (12 ppg) and Grant (9 ppg). Lewisville’s main goal is to get back to the state championship game and finish it off with a victory.

--JAY EDWARDS

MCBEE

Head Coach: Patrick Cook (5th year as McBee basketball coach; 17th year of coaching overall).

Coaching Career Record: 206-140.

2016-17 Record: 9-11 (6-4 in the S.C. Region II, A).

2017-18 Conference: S.C. Region II, A.

Returning Starters (3): Shane Hammonds; Travon Reed; Daveon Halloman. Key Newcomers: Nick Boyle; Tyrese Wright.

Outlook: McBee has just one winning season in the past decade (2015-16), going 9-11 last year. But Coach Cook and his Panther team return three starters from a team that believes it can compete for a Region II, A title and get back to the playoffs for the 3rd straight season (advanced to the 2nd round the last two years).

--JAY EDWARDS

NATION FORD

Head Coach: Jared Adamson (2nd year as Nation Ford basketball coach).

Coaching Career Record: 184-108.

2016-17 Record: 14-10 (4-4 in S.C. Region IV, AAAAA).

2017-18 Conference: S.C. Region IV, AAAAA)

Returning Starters (4): Zeb Graham, Jr., PG (6-1); Khy Smith, Jr., F/C (6-7); Eric Moulds, Sr., G (6-2); Malik Bryant, Jr., G (6-2).

Other Key Returnees: Ben Tuipulotu, Sr., F; Key Newcomers: Shaman Alston, Jr., G.

Outlook: The Falcons return four starters from a 14-win team, led by all-region guard, Graham (17 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg). This year, Nation Ford has the playmakers in Graham, Bryant (10 ppg), Moulds (10 ppg) and Smith (8 ppg, 8 rpg), to win the region title and be a tough playoff matchup with their inside/outside ability.

--JAY EDWARDS

NORTHWESTERN

Head Coach: John Bramlett (3rd year as Northwestern basketball coach).

Coaching Career Record: 20-20 at Northwestern boys’ head coach.

2016-17 Record: 11-10 (3-5 in S.C. Region IV, AAAAA).

2017-18 Conference: Region IV, AAAAA.

Returning Starters (1): Zay Martin, Jr., G (6-3). Key Newcomers: Ashton Parker, Jr., G/F (6-4); Zuric Harvey, Jr., G (5-6).

Outlook: Northwestern returns only one starter from a team that went 11-10 last year. But that starter is all-region guard, Martin (13 ppg), who will look to lead the Trojans back up the Region IV, AAAAA standings and into a more favorable playoff seed.

--JAY EDWARDS

SOUTH POINTE (SC)

Head Coach: Melvin Watson (8th year as South Pointe (SC) basketball coach).

Coaching Career Record: 106-36.

2016-17 Record: 14-9 (3-5 in S.C. Region III, AAAA).

2017-18 Conference: S.C. Region III, AAAA).

Returning Starters (1): B.J. Davis, Sr., F (6-4). Key Newcomers: J.C. McCorn, Sr., PG (6-0); Maurice Crawford, Sr., G (5-8).

Outlook: South Pointe has been a consistent winner with 17 wins per season in the last five years. This year, the Stallions will look to all-region forward, Davis (13 ppg, 9 rpg), to lead a young team, but will need to find some scoring help if they can are going to be a factor in region play and into the AAAA playoffs, where they were one-point (loss to Eastside) from advancing to the 3rd round.

--JAY EDWARDS

YORK

Head Coach: Michael Gossett (3rd year as York basketball coach).

2016-17 Record: 8-12 (3-5 in S.C. Region III, AAAA).

2017-18 Conference: S.C. Region III, AAAA).

Returning Starters (2): Cameron Jones, Sr., G (6-3); Malcolm Kennedy, Sr., SG (6-0).

Other Key Returnees: Shamari Williams, Sr., C (6-8); Tabari Moore, Sr., F (6-5); Devin Long, Sr., G/F (6-1). Key Newcomers: Emmanuel Kennedy, Jr., G (6-2); Jemeel Brooks, So., F (6-5); Gabe Carroll, So., G (6-0).

Outlook: York doubled their win total from four victories in 2015-16 to eight last season in year two of Coach Michael Gossett’s tenure. This year, the Cougars looks to continue to improve with their starting backcourt in Jones (10 ppg 5 rpg) and Kennedy (15 ppg) amongst five seniors returning. That experience should give York a chance to move up the region standings (5th-place last year) and into playoff position, which would another big step for the Cougar program.

--JAY EDWARDS

YORK PREP

Head Coach: Frank Hamrick (4th year as York Prep basketball coach).

2016-17 Record: 24-14 (won USA Prep National Championship).

2017-18 Conference: Freelance/None.

Returning Starters (3): D.J. Burns, Jr., PF (6-9); Vince Cole, Sr., SG (6-6); Jaron Williams, Sr., F (6-5).

Other Key Returnees: Keyan Mims, So., F (6-4); Jacobi Wright, Fr., PG (6-0). Key Newcomers: Deuce Dean, Jr., PG (6-4); Alex Powell, Jr., C (7-0); Dericko Williams, Jr., F (6-8); Savion Dawkins, Sr., SG (6-4).

Outlook: The Patriots are loaded with talent once again with Division I recruits in junior, Burns (12 ppg, 10 rpg) and seniors, Cole (14 ppg) and Jaron Williams (13 ppg), leading a team that won 24 games a year ago. York Prep will take on a brutal, early schedule that will prepare an experienced team to make a repeat run for USA Prep National Championship in March.

--JAY EDWARDS

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