St. James is still in the hunt for the Region VII-AAA boys basketball title.
However, the Sharks will play the rest of the regular season and an expected playoff berth without forward TreDarius McCallum, the team’s top rebounder and second-leading scorer. Coach Monty Carr said Tuesday – hours before his team played Georgetown – that McCallum had been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.
“Tre won’t be playing any more this season,” Carr said. “… He’s a very good basketball talent. I let the team know about the dismissal of TreDarius and it was my decision.”
McCallum’s absence will surely be felt by a St. James team that entered Tuesday’s game in second place in Region VII-AAA. The senior was averaging 11.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
At 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, McCallum was also a prominent defender around the basket. Four times this season, he amassed double-digit rebound tallies, and he had already put up 14 blocks on the year.
The Sharks, Carr said, have already started to move on from the dismissal.
“As a coaching staff and as a team, we’re trying our best to carry on with our plays and our practice schedule,” Carr said. “That’s the thing that we have to try to do, maintain our composure.
“We’ve had players get sick and miss games. We’ve had coaches get sick and miss games. Any time you miss a teammate, you have to keep on trying to be successful and try to get it done.”
St. James entered Tuesday night one game behind North Myrtle Beach in the region and in a de facto tie with Myrtle Beach. St. James could lock up a playoff spot as early as Friday night, given the right combination of wins and losses from Region VII-AAA teams this week.
The top four teams in the six-team region will make the postseason, and the top two teams from the region will play first-round home games.
St. James will have plenty of other talent on the floor attempting to make that happen. Three other players – guards Caleb Duggan (13.9 ppg) and Nehemiah Stafford (11.1 ppg) and forward Matt Strange (8.4 ppg) – are scoring at least eight points per contest. Strange, who is second on the team with five rebounds per game, and fellow 6-foot-7 forward Russ Sansbury give St. James much-needed height inside.
St. James would have a hard time overcoming North Myrtle Beach for the top spot in the region. The Chiefs swept the season series and as a result hold the first tie-breaker. Still, a trip to the playoffs is anticipated.
“We’ve got to see if we can keep hold on to that second-place spot,” Carr said.