Mac Whalen erupted for 33 points to lead Heathwood Hall to a 61-44 win over Northwood Academy Saturday in the first round of the SCISA state boys basketball tournament.
The Highlanders (21-8) square off against familiar foe Ben Lippen (16-10) in quarterfinal action Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Sumter County Exhibition Center. It will be the fourth meeting of the season for the Falcons and Highlanders. The teams split two games during the Region 2-3A campaign, and Ben Lippen beat HH 56-54 last Tuesday in a tie-breaking game to nab the region No. 2 playoff seed.
Whalen, stepping up to fill the void created by a season-ending injury to sophomore standout Corey Littlejohn, hit 13 of 19 shots from the field, including an eye-opening 7-for-9 performance from 3-point range. Whalen also chipped in three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Morgan Whalen and Shelton Whitaker shared team rebounding honors with six caroms apiece. Morgan Whalen was the only other Highlander to approach double-digit scoring with nine points. Joseph James finished with six points, four boards and three assists.