If there was a moment to define the three-year varsity stint of T.J. Frazier at Ridgeland and Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School, it began with a third-quarter buzzer in the playoffs.
The Jaguars were locked in a tough fight with Calhoun County, which had eliminated Ridgeland-Hardeeville the previous season. Frazier, the senior who would finish with more than 1,100 points as a Jaguar, owned the fourth quarter of Class 2-A third-round game and sent his team to the Lower State final for the first time.
"It was good, playing my last game here," he said.
The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year is a confident shooter who could keep Ridgdeland-Hardeeville in games they might have otherwise let slip away. He relishes a challenge, like facing friend and Bluffton High School guard B.J. Hill, one of the area's best defenders.
Frazier averaged 18.1 points per game and was named a North-South selection and Region 6-AA Co-Player of the Year.
He thinks he will play at USC Salkehatchie. He also had interest from Benedict and North Greenville.
Always a scorer, Frazier had to add a leadership role when the Jaguars started the season without consistency. Frazier and senior teammate Charles Mitchell kept on their younger teammates.
"Telling them this is our last year," Frazier said. "Y'all going to feel how we feel when you play next year."
Frazier grew up in Ridgeland. He has a cousin who plays college football in Missouri but doesn't know any basketball players at the next level.
He can be the first, after growing up in the game with his cousin, who played basketball for the Jaguars girls team, and learning from his grandfather.
"I feel like I had to get from around here," he said. "Nothing really for me."
Frazier will graduate with a legacy cemented in the final eight minutes against Calhoun County.
Eleven of Frazier's game-high 22 points came during the fourth quarter of that game. He helped drive a 14-2 run that turned a third-quarter deficit into a trip to Florence Civic Center.
"I felt like the fourth quarter is my quarter," he said.
Coach of the Year: Jeremiah Faber, Ridgeland-Hardeeville
Jeremiah Faber has heard the whispers.You can't coach three decades and not know there are detractors.
But Faber continued forward, played his man-to-man defense and managed teams throughout a shifting Jasper County School District. This season seemed to be his reward, a trip to the Class 2-A Lower State final, the longest run for a Jaguars team.
"It's one thing I've never fell short of, is confidence in myself," Faber said as his team prepared to play Lake Marion in the Lower State final. "I'm a personal individual, I believe in Jeremiah Faber Sr. And I display that in everything I do -- in the way I coach, in the way I walk, in the way I speak."
The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet All-Area Boys Basketball Coach of the Year helped push his senior-laden team past Calhoun County in the third round, the stumbling block in previous seasons. The Region 6-AA title was the first for Faber in more than 15 years.
Faber knows the challenges of coaching in Jasper County. One of his former players was shot and killed earlier this year. Players have gone to play college basketball and come back or never reached the roster.
But Faber said the basketball team has often been insulated from any problems on the outside. He tries to push players to go to college, no matter if they are on an athletic scholarship.
"You have the intellect to go to school to be a student and further your education so you can get a decent job or make a decent living for your family or yourself," Faber said he tells them.
A pair of seniors on this past Jaguars team -- T.J. Frazier and Charles Mitchell -- are looking for a place to play next year. Frazier said he might sign with USC Salkehatchie.
The Jaguars ran through the first three rounds of the Class 2-A playoffs before Lake Marion, a loaded squad with height Ridgeland-Hardeeville couldn't match. But its grittiness kept the Jaguars in the game and frustrated the Gators.
Lake Marion's locker room did not have the feel of a team headed to the state championship. Tones were solemn.
Faber and Ridgeland-Hardeeville had left a mark.
"I could taste it," Faber said. "At one point I thought we were going to pull it off."
Follow assistant sports editor Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.
Player of the Year: T.J. Frazier, R-H
Coach of the Year: Jeremiah Faber, R-H
F DJ Dobson, BLF
Comment: North-South selection made a huge splash in one year from Dutch Fork
Stats: 16.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 1.2 spg
F Kendrick Colvin, BFT
Comment: Dynamic high-flyer limited by knee injury late in the season
Stats: 13.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 2.4 spg, 2 apg
G T.J. Frazier, R-H
Comment: North-South pick took over the fourth quarter against Calhoun County in Lower State semifinal
Stats: 18.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.4 spg
G Justin Rhode WB
Comment: Sophomore with an outside touch worked harder to get to the basket in Year 2
Stats: 12.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.3 spg
C Eric Freeman, BC
Comment: Big man came on strong during his junior season to give the Dolphins a true center
Stats: 12.2 ppg, 8 rpg, 1.7 bpg
F Denzel Daniel, WB
Stats: 11 ppg, 9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.1 spg
F John Eck, HHP
Stats: 18.4 ppg, 7 rpg
G Adonis Grant, BFT
Stats: 11.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.2 spg, 2.6 bpg
G BJ Hill, BLF
Stats: 6.1 apg, 7.4 ppg
F Devonte Wilson, BC
Stats: 12.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.9
Kane Thorp, BA
Jae Middleton, BLF
Adriel Willis, BLF
Jawan Mack, BFT
Otis McClain, BFT
Brad Meccariello, HHCA
Troy Clifford, HHH
Jacob Coltrane, HHH
Randy Young, HHP
Charles Mitchell, R-H
Kevon Williams, R-H
Dylan Tillotson, THA
Davis Owens, THA
Simeon Middleton, WB
Michael Middleton, WB