High School Basketball

Ridgeland-Hardeeville standout’s status still up in air for title game against Keenan

Ridgeland-Hardeeville senior Rashamel Butler
Ridgeland-Hardeeville senior Rashamel Butler Lou Bezjak/The State

Rashamel Butler’s status for Saturday’s Class 3A state basketball championship still is up in the air.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville coach Jeremiah Faber said South Carolina High School League commissioner Jerome Singleton will make a decision Tuesday on whether the Class 3A co-Player of the Year will play against Keenan in the state title game.

Faber and Ridgeland-Hardeeville officials made their appeal to the SCHSL following Monday’s state championship news press conferences in Columbia. Butler was suspended two games after being ejected following receiving two technicals in the third-round playoff game against Marion.

According to SCHSL rules, a player must be suspended two games if they are ejected but are allowed to appeal. Butler sat out Saturday’s Class 3A Lower State championship game against Manning.

Butler’s first technical was for hanging on the rim and second one came with less than a minute left for taunting.

“It would be a blessing to have Rashamel back,” Faber said. “He is our team leader, leads us in all of our stats and we would love to have him back.

“We felt like the kid (Butler) needs the opportunity to play. You got the two top teams in the state playing, … one versus two so what else can you ask for. That’s great publicity for our league.”

Butler, who attended Monday’s news conference, is prepared for either decision. He was on the bench cheering his team on in Saturday’s win over Manning and would like to play his final game of his high school career.

“The way I look at is there have been things way worse in past, so for me to get T’d up (second time) like that is something crazy,” Butler said. “But there will be lots of prayers and a great community and team behind me and what not for me to get a chance to play Saturday.”

Butler is averaging 13.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. The Jaguars are making their third state championship appearance and lost to Southside in last year’s title game.

Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The State and Island Packet. He has covered high school sports in South Carolina for 16 years and is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.