High School Sports

Prep Notebook, Jan. 17: No. 1 Whale Branch focused on No. 4 Allendale-Fairfax

Whale Branch Early College High School boys basketball coach Linc Lyles prepares for some games knowing his Warriors have the athleticism to work out a victory if all else fails.

He doesn't expect that to be the case Saturday. Top-ranked Whale Branch plays host to No. 4 Allendale-Fairfax in a Region 5-A showdown.

The game will be broadcast locally on the Beaufort County Channel and was the main talking point at the school's gym Tuesday, even before the Warriors finished off their victory over Bethune-Bowman.

"They know who we play," Lyles said. "They respect Allendale, and I'm sure Allendale respects us. I'm sure they'll bring everything they've got."

The Warriors (13-2, 3-0 Region 5-A) are familiar with the Tigers, having played the school twice in football. Some of the athletes are the same for both teams, including quarterback Solomon McCormick, who is a standout on the basketball team.

Lyles said the quality of the Warriors' practices this week would help him get a feel for how his team might perform Saturday. He said he has cut back practice times half an hour from the previous two-hour sessions. The Warriors work on their shooting and fundamentals and working against a press, but Lyles was worried he would lose their attention late in the season.

The focus is now squarely on Allendale-Fairfax.

"We'll see Saturday," Whale Branch guard Simeon Middleton said.


Beaufort Academy girls basketball player Miranda Weslake passed one milestone last week and now has a chance at another.

The Eagles junior surpassed 1,000 points for her high school career and is now at 1,028. Beaufort Academy's all-time scoring leader, 1984 graduate Suzanne VonHarten, finished with 1,163 points.

VonHarten graduated high school with Weslake's mother, Lisa.

Beaufort Academy has seven regular-season games remaining, its region tournament and playoffs. Weslake is averaging 19.8 points per game.


Hilton Head Island High senior wrestler Label Lewis is aiming to conclude his senior season as the best in his class.

If his recent ranking is any indication, the Seahawks standout will accomplish just that.

Lewis is ranked No. 1 in Class 3-A's 132-pound weight class according to scmat.com. The Hilton Head High captain won a state title at 112 in 2011, finished as a runner-up at 103 in 2010 and placed fourth at 120 a year ago.

He recently was the most outstanding wrestler in the Hawk Invitational at Hanahan earlier this month after taking home the 132-pound title and finished as a runner-up to Union Grove's Griffin Higginbotham at the Seahawk Slam in December.


WHHI-TV is again broadcasting area high school basketball games this season.

The High School Basketball Series on WHHI-TV will feature a game of the week. The recorded games will air at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 1 p.m. Saturdays and 6 p.m. Sundays.

The first game was Tuesday's matchup between Hilton Head Christian and Hilton Head Prep.

The rest of the schedule is as follows, with all games subject to change: Jan. 22, Beaufort at Bluffton; Jan. 29, Hilton Head Christian at Hilton Head Prep; Feb. 5, Stall at Hilton Head Island; Feb. 12, Beaufort Academy at Hilton Head Christian.

The announcers for the games are Dale Planicka (play-by-play) and Chris Conefry (color). WHHI-TV is available on Time Warner Cable Ch. 3 and Hargray Cable Ch. 8.