Baxter’s Blitz

Basketball: Browning helps Irmo stay No. 1

Yellow Jackets face stern test vs. Spring Valley

scvarsity@sc.rr.comJanuary 14, 2013 

Irmo's Detrek Browning is defended by Richland Notheast's Kelvin Crus in the first half at Irmo High School.

C. ALUKA BERRY — caberry@thestate.com Buy Photo

IRMO CONTINUES TO hold onto its top rankings, including No. 1 in the Class 4A poll and the top spot in Region 4-4A following its 42-34 win against Richland Northeast on Friday.

In the preseason, the Yellow Jackets were one of the teams that we wondered about in terms of how they would fair after losing their star, Jordan Roper, to Clemson.

We knew USC commitment Justin McKie was going to be an impact player, but he has had help from senior guard Detrek Browning, who led Irmo with 23 points in the win over Richland Northeast. The 6-footer was on our Top Seniors preseason list.

Spring Valley is not ranked in the top 10 but deserves a look. The Vikings ran past Ridge View on Friday 86-70. Dominique Taylor had 36 points for Spring Valley.

Like Browning, the 6-foot-4 Taylor was on the SCVarsity Preseason Watch List and has established himself as the leader and impact player for Spring Valley. The Vikings get a tough test on Tuesday when they take on Irmo. That game can be heard live on SCVarsity.com.

In Upstate action, Byrnes is beginning to put the competition on notice. The Rebels, who lost six of their first seven, have improved to 8-8, with a 4-2 mark in region play, and have wins over top-10 opponents Gaffney and Dorman, as well as a victory over Spartanburg.

Sophomore forward Tavin Richardson, a gifted football player, has stepped up as an impact player for the Rebels to make them a contender in tough Region 2-4A.

T.L. Hanna knocked off Westside in the Upstate to go 15-0. It is ranked No. 5.

Other news

The Lexington wrestling team traveled last weekend to the Virginia Duals and won the American High School Division. ...

Former Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett was named the athletics director and football coach for River Bluff, which will open for the 2013-2014 school year. ...

As we near signing day, which is just under four weeks away, I will begin to bring some recruiting analytics to the column.

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