Despite a series of challenges, the Sumter High boys basketball team had a fine season. The Gamecocks went 17-7, won the Region 6-4A championship and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
“It was an incredibly difficult season - from a lack of preseason practice, to constant injuries, to the scheduling screw up that cost us a playoff home game,” said Sumter coach Nathan Livesay. “We were battling outside issues as much as we were battling our opponents. We had nine football players and due to injuries we ended up starting five football players throughout most of region play. We did not have our full roster available for a full game until the first week of February. I’m very proud of my guys for maintaining their composure and pushing through to win the region championship again. The leadership of Quinn McClendon and Khalil Malone was as good as any seniors I have ever been around. Over the past four years this senior class has gone 81-24 with three region championships (and were one foot jumper from winning all four) and two trips to the lower state championship game.”
McClendon, Malone and Travis Fredimon were the veteran leaders, and had outstanding senior seasons. McClendon averaged 16.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, and was voted region player of the year. He was as named to the SCBCA All-State team and earned a spot in the North-South All-Star game. Malone averaged 8.8 points and 6.8 rebounds. Fredimon averaged 8.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 7.1 assists.
“Next season the names change but the goals remain the same,” said Livesay. “We want to compete for a region championship and be a team that no one wants to play in the playoffs. The key to next season will the same as always. How hard our players work between now and the beginning of practice next year will determine what kind of players they will be and what kind of team we will be.”