Dutch Fork basketball has one more tune-up before entering Region 5-4A action on Friday. The Silver Foxes boys and girls teams host neighborhood rival Irmo on Tuesday.
The improved DF boys team stands at 9-3 with the highlight being a 3-0, championship performance at the Seahawk Holiday Classic in Hilton Head. Matt Brown’s team thumped the host team 67-39 in the championship game.
“We went back to fundamentals in December,” said Brown. “The team bought into it and you can see (the results) on the court. We’ve played some really tough teams and it will help prepare us for the region.”
Dutch Fork has been a remarkably balanced team so far with Watson Harris (13 ppg, 7 rpg), Fred Poole (9 ppg, 5 rpg), Christian Mills (8 ppg, 4 apg, Sterling Thomas (8 ppg, 4 rpg), Jordan Davis (8 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 spg) and Austin Williams (8 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg) sharing the production load.
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The two-time defending Class 4A state champion girls team sports a deceiving 5-4 record. Three of the Silver Foxes setbacks have been by a combined margin of five points – West Florence (52-50), Conway (55-54) and Sumter (42-41).
Sydney Shull and Morgan Williams, the two returning regulars from last season 29-0 title team are the veteran foundation of the new-look Silver Foxes. Shull is averaging 10.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.3 steals, while Williams is contributing 13.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per outing.
Junior Zhane Green is averaging 9.8 points a game.
Irmo, which decisively swept DF in early December, brings two one-loss teams to the rematch. The defending state champion Yellow Jackets boys (12-1) closed December with a blowout win over No. 1 Gaffney in the championship game of the Dorman Classic tournament and opened the new year with a weekend sweep of James Island and West Ashley in Charleston.
Dutch Fork and Irmo both open region play on Friday.
The Irmo girls, meanwhile, also bagged two wins in the trip to the Holy City to run their record to 12-1, as well. Ke’Asia Jackson rang up 19 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals in Saturday’s 57-42 win at West Ashley. Sophomore Jada Morgan led the way in Friday’s 49-28 rout of James Island with 15 points.
Jackson (13.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 spg), Taziya Moody (11.1 ppg, 2.5 spg), Shakira Carter (7.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Olivia Jabber (4.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg) are Irmo’s most consistent performers.