Ben Lippen travels to face Heathwood Hall in the opening round of SCISA Region 2-3A play on Friday night. Both the Falcons and the host Highlanders are expected to be top contenders for the boys region championship this season.
Heathwood Hall enters the conference opener with an 11-4 record, and is led by sophomore star Corey Littlejohn and junior twins Mac and Morgan Whalen, who are the sons of Highlanders coach Jeff Whalen.
Mitchell Deter and Andre Hennie have been the top guns for the Falcons (7-7). Deter is averaging 16.5 points, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals. Hennie is averaging 15.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 steals. Gabe Smith is averaging 5.0 points and leads the team in rebounding at 6.8 rpg.
Elsewhere in the region, St. Joseph’s of Greenville visits Cardinal Newman (9-4) and Hammond (6-7) plays host to Augusta Christian.
The Cardinals, coming off a loss on Tuesday night the Kennedy Charter (NC), bagged a championship at a Christmas tournament in the Atlanta area and might be considered the team to beat in the race for the region title this season. All four of the Cardinals’ setbacks have been by four points or less.
Jake Motto and Zach Hrovat are the CN standouts. Motto is averaging 16.7 points and 14.3 rebounds, while Hrovat is averaging 12.4 points, 3.2 assists and 2.8 steals and leads the team with 18 3-point field goals. Matthew Melson, Ryan Zurcher and Twan Alewine have been key contributors, as well. Melson is averaging 5.6 points and 4.8 rebounds, Zucher is averaging 2.9 points and 3.7 assists and Alewince is chipping in 4.9 points, 2.3 assists and 2.9 steals per game.
Two-time defending region champion Hammond is rebuilding and off to a slow start.
On the girls side, Heathwood Hall has had a rough start with a 5-9 record to date, but the Highlanders are still considered to be the team to beat this season. Seniors Kristen Dickerson and Arayael Brander are the Highlanders veteran leaders back from a team that won the region championship last season without losing a single conference game.