High School Basketball

Hilton Head's Julian, Whale Branch's Delaney make all-state basketball teams

Whale Branch's Jenkins and Ridgeland-Hardeeville's Hill also earn all-state nods

sports@islandpacket.comFebruary 14, 2013 

Whale Branch's Dee Delaney was chosen as a Class 1-A all-state performer by the state's basketball coaches.

PHOTO BY TED WAGNER

It's been a big year for Michael Julian.

The Hilton Head Island High School senior was a Shrine Bowl selection in football as the Seahawks' quarterback and went on to sign a letter a letter of intent to play at Toledo.

Julian has added another honor, as he was one of four area players named to the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association's All-State teams released Wednesday.

In addition to Julian, Whale Branch Early College High School had two players chosen -- Dee Delaney for the boys Class 1-A team and Kemoni Jenkins for the girls squad.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville's Aaliyah Hill was chosen to the girls Class 2-A squad.

Julian is the Seahawks' first All-State selection since Jamal Brooks in 2004.

"You look at Michael's region stats," Hilton Head Island coach Ken Updike said. "He's tied for the (team) lead in scoring (with 16.2). He leads in rebounds. He leads in blocks. He leads in steals, deflections, and he's tied with assists. You're looking at an all-around player. He's not just a kid that's rebounding and scoring. He's doing a lot of stuff.

"He's truly turned into a leader. A very mature young man who is able to lead. That part has been important, too."

The Seahawks play at Hartsville on Friday in the second round of the Class 3-A playoffs.

Like Julian, Whale Branch's Delaney has earned honors in two sports. And he may have a chance for a third. Whale Branch coach Linc Lyles said Delaney also has a shot at being an all-state player in baseball.

"Dee is the most special athlete I've coached in 22 years of coaching," Lyles said. "He is a great student, a strong leader, constantly works on his game and brings a high level of competition to practice every day."

Lyles said Delaney, who is signed to play football for The Citadel next season, has rewarded his coach's trust with production for the Warriors (21-3), who host Timmonsville in the second round of the Class 1-A playoffs Friday.

"Dee is the only kid I've ever had that I have to allow him to use his strengths and be patient and trust him," Lyles said. "We run a high-risk, high-reward defensive system, and we move him around a lot to take advantage of his versatility."

The future is bright for the Whale Branch girls and their sophomore point guard Jenkins.

"It is an award much deserved," said Warriors coach Wilbert Bryant. "She has a tremendous upside. I only see her getting better. She has really sparked us this year with her tenacious defense and explosive offensive skills."

Jenkins and Whale Branch (19-3) host C.E. Murray on Thursday night in the second round of the Class 1-A playoffs.

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