Unbeaten Irmo overwhelmed understaffed Heathwood Hall Monday in the Midas Highlander Classic championship game. The Yellow Jackets improved to 11-0 with a 59-34 win over the scrappy but overmatched Highlanders.
Robbie Brunson led the way for Irmo with 18 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots. Senior guard Daniel Huguenin, who was named the tournament MVP, had a fine all around game with 12 points, five steals, three assists and four rebounds. Sophomore Josh Clinkscales, who joined Brunson on the all-tournament team, finished with eight points.
The Highlanders, who were playing in the seventh game in 10 days, were missing key starter Morgan Whalen, who has been sitting out for the past three weeks with a high ankle sprain, and starter William Middleton limped off the court at the end of the first half and did not return.
That didn’t help matters, especially against a deep and ultra quick Irmo team and contested every pass in its defensive zone.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out 16-2 lead by the end of the first quarter as Brunson scored seven points, and the lead expanded to 19-2 when Huguenin drained a 3-pointer 14 seconds into the second quarter. The Highlanders did not score a field goal until sophomore standout Corey Littlejohn canned a short pop at 7:43 of the second quarter.
Heathwood Hall never stopped battling and cut the gap to 25-15 with 1:17 to go in the first half, but Brunson posted two field goals in the final 51 seconds to up the Irmo advantage to 29-15 at the break. Brunson had 15 of his 18 points in the first half.
Littlejohn paced HH with 16 points, but had no double-digit support. Mac Whalen, who tallied 15 behind Littlejohn’s 28 in Sunday’s 66-62 semifinal overtime win, was scoreless in the first half and finished with just four points.
Littlejohn and Whalen made the all-tournament team.
Heathwood Hall opened the tournament with a 60-48 win over Newberry Academy as Littlejohn tallied 21 points and Whalen added 15.
The Highlanders, who stand at 10-4 and went 2-2 at the Porter-Gaud tournament prior to Christmas, have a week off before taking on Wilson Hall at home on Jan. 6.
Irmo, on the other hand, jumps back into action Saturday at Ridge View.