The Gray Collegiate boys basketball team has played some tough competition in North and South Carolina this season.
This week, the Eagles will test their skills outside of the U.S. when they travel to the Virgin Islands to play in the IAA/McDonald’s Martin Luther King Basketball tournament. The 11-team tournament will run Friday through Monday.
“I felt like it was a great opportunity for our kids to visit and see a different culture,” Gray Collegiate coach Dion Bethea said. “The Virgin Islands trip will be used as an educational tool as well. We are super excited.”
Gray Collegiate’s the only team from the U.S. in the boys event. Other teams in the tournament are from St. Thomas, British Virgin Island and St. Croix. This is the second straight year Gray has traveled out of South Carolina to play in a tournament. The Eagles played in Las Vegas last season.
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Gray (11-2) is ranked No. 2 in The State’s Midlands High School Basketball poll. Xavier Miller leads the Eagles, averaging 22.3 points per game.
Four Midlands coaches picked
Four Midlands soccer coaches will take part in the Clash of the Carolinas All-Star matches.
Dreher’s David Kleinfelder and Dutch Fork’s Mike Mauldin will be the co-coaches for the South girls squad, while River Bluff’s Phil Savitz will be the coach for the South Carolina boys squad, assisted by Blythewood’s Peter Wittig.
Kleinfelder was also named South Carolina 2015 Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Association. The longtime coach has won more than 400 games and guided the Blue Devils to the Class 3A championship last season.
The Clash of the Carolinas is held in June in Charleston, and matches South Carolina’s top seniors against North Carolina’s.
SV’s play to be featured on NBC
Spring Valley’s infamous hook-and-ladder play this season will get more national exposure. The play will be aired on “Together We Make Football” show, which will air on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on NBC.
The play occurred Sept. 4 late in the second quarter against Laurens. Vikings quarterback Ryan Lee threw a pass to a leaping R.J. Bacon, who tossed it, while in mid-air, to running back Ty’Juan Fulton, who took it 40 yards for the touchdown.
The scoring play appeared on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays and was the No. 1 play on Hudl’s top five the week it occurred.
Hammond moves up in USA Today rankings
The Hammond boys’ basketball team moved up one spot to No. 12 in the USA Today Super 25 rankings. The Skyhawks also are ranked No. 3 in the USA Today’s South region rankings.
Hammond also was 12th in this week’s MaxPreps Top 25 poll.
Cardinal Newman plays final game at old gym
Cardinal Newman played its final basketball games at the school’s old gym on Forest Drive Tuesday. The school will move to its new 50-acre campus on Alpine Drive on Jan. 19, when the Cardinals play host to Augusta Christian.
Lexington’s Graves decommits
Lexington Shrine Bowl defensive back Nick Graves announced Sunday he has decommitted from The Citadel and opened up his recruiting.
“After a lot of prayer and discussion, I have decided to decommit from The Citadel,” Graves posted on Twitter. “I appreciate coach Houston and his staff for offering me the opportunity.”
Graves had 38 tackles and two interceptions for the Wildcats.
Taneyhill out at Union County
Former South Carolina quarterback Steve Taneyhill is out as Union County football coach, according to television station WSPA.
According to the report, Taneyhill’s contract wasn’t renewed at Monday’s school board meeting. Taneyhill went 22-27 in his four seasons at Union. He led the Yellow Jackets to a state title appearance in 2012 and the Lower State championship game this season.
Prior to coaching Union County, Taneyhill led Chesterfield to three straight Class A Division I championships, posting a 71-20 record.