NORTH – The North High School athletic program has seen limited success in recent years, with teams including the 2018 baseball team being among the few to make playoffs.
In fact, the Eagles football team finished this season having to forfeit its final two games due to few players to begin with and multiple injuries late in the season. Entering next season, North will carry the state's longest current losing streak at 43 games.
However, students at North have reason to cheer this winter, as the always-competitive girls basketball team has picked up a couple wins to start the season (read below), and the boys basketball team is unbeaten at 4-0, off to its best start in years.
On Tuesday night, the Eagles handled business at home taking a 64-48 non-region win against C.A. Johnson. Junior shooting guard Markien Gleaton led the way with 17 points, while sophomore small forward Literyian Tyler added 15 points and junior point guard Marlik Miller added 15 points.
C.A. Johnson, a team that only trailed the Eagles 28-25 at the half, fell to 0-5 on the season.
"Our boys basketball team has not started well the last couple of years, and last year's team only went 5-13," North athletic director/football coach/baseball coach Keith Williams said prior to Tuesday night's game. "The year before (2016-17), they went 1-20, winning the last game of the year against Denmark-Olar.
"Our region, of course, has Ridge Spring-Monetta who played for a state championship last year, and we also have Hunter-Kinard-Tyler; so we expect tough competition. Our attendance for the basketball games is increasing each and every game. Players are excited and we have a good team. Along with the region games coming up, we have an 8-team tournament here over 3 days, starting on Friday, December 28."
The Eagles play next at Columbia High School on Friday night.
Williams hired first-year boys head basketball coach Patrick Clark from Columbia High, where Clark's junior varsity teams captured two region championships.
This North team has just three seniors added to a large group of underclassmen who have the opportunity to have multiple good seasons.
"We have some great athletes here at North, but we've been working to get them to understand the game of basketball and playing together as one unit," Clark said. "The kids and coaching staff has dedicated themselves to this.
"It has been amazing to see how the school culture here has flipped on a dime, from one season (football) to the next (basketball). Kids are more energetic in the hallway, talking about sports more, and they're excited. They look forward to the next game. Win or lose doesn't matter, they're just happy to see that North is competing."
The Eagles are going to have 3 games most weeks, giving fans numerous opportunities to come out and support North basketball.
"They buy-in is the most important piece, when you coach," Clark said. "As a new coach to this area, we had to build the relationships with this team very quickly.
"They saw the passion and dedication in me, and that has spilled over to their effort in practice and games. I think all of North is seeing all the work behind the scenes, from when I was hired in May. I know everyone is gearing up for the H-K-T game. But, we plan to treat each region opponent with respect and just play North Eagles-style basketball every game. We're going to go as far as we can go."
VARSITY BOYS BASKETBALL
Scott's Branch 52
DENMARK - Malik Palmer scored 21 points on Tuesday to lead the Vikings (2-2) in a home win against Scott's Branch.
Harold Johnson Jr. added 18 points for D-O, while Tony Nimmons added 10 points, Zyviear Jamison added 8 points, and Kevin Middleton added 7 points.
Denmark-Olar plays next on Friday at home against Bamberg-Ehrhardt at 8 p.m.
Lake Marion 49
BOWMAN - The Mohawks picked up their second win of the season on Tuesday, getting a 12-point victory at home against the Gators.
Bethune-Bowman was led by Braxton Wedgeworth with 28 points, while Raekwon Richburg added 11 points.
Lake Marion was led by J. Jamison with 16 points and D. Gatson with 10 points.
The Mohawks (2-3) play at Woodland on Saturday at 8 p.m.
The Gators (0-2) play at home on Friday against Orangeburg-Wilkinson at 8 p.m.
Clarendon Hall 78
Andrew Jackson Academy 66
SUMMERTON - The Saints moved to 3-0 with a win in their first home game of the season on Tuesday.
Kylic Horton led the way with 27 points, while Traveon Davis added 20 points and Tyrese Mitchum added 15 points.
Clarendon Hall plays next on Friday at St. John's Christian in Moncks Corner.
Andrew Jackson (1-3) plays Wednesday at John Paul II in Ridgeland.
Holly Hill Academy 54
Patrick Henry 52
HOLLY HILL - Grayson Hopkins had 19 points to lead Holly Hill Academy to a home win on Tuesday night.
Jabari Sumpter added 14 points for the Raiders, while Davin Walling added 8 points.
Other HHA scorers: Thomas 5, P. Breland 4, Johnson 2, Pelloni 2
The Raiders play host to Dorchester Academy on Friday at 8 p.m.
Jefferson Davis 51
St. John’s 35
BLACKVILLE - The Raiders of Jefferson Davis pushed their record to 2-1 (1-0) by defeating St. John’s on Tuesday by a score of 51-35.
Leading the way for the Raiders was Donte Payne with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Nick Darnell with 12 points.
Raiders are back in action Friday night in Walterboro against Colleton Prep at 7:30 p.m.
Orangeburg-Wilkinson 64, Goose Creek 61
VARSITY GIRLS BASKETBALL
Jefferson Davis 43
St. John’s 37
BLACKVILLE - The Lady Raiders opened up region play with a 43-37 victory over St John’s on Tuesday.
Leading the way for the Lady Raiders was Cate Polston with 24 points, while Kiersten Phillips added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Raiders are now 1-2 (1-0).
Jefferson Davis is back in action Friday night in Walterboro against Colleton Prep at 7:30 p.m.
C.A. Johnson 37
NORTH - The Lady Eagles had a late scoring run in the final minute of play to pick up their first win of the season at home on Tuesday night.
Jessmen Darby led the way for North (1-3) with 20 points, while Zoe Hawkins added 8 points.
The Lady Eagles play again on Friday at 6 p.m. at Columbia.
Patrick Henry 42
Holly Hill Academy 21
HOLLY HILL - Brooke Fennessey scored 12 points to lead Holly Hill Academy at home on Tuesday, but it wasn't enough, as Patrick Henry picked up the win.
HHA plays host to Dorchester Academy on Friday at 6 p.m.
Goose Creek 60, Orangeburg-Wilkinson 40
JV GIRLS BASKETBALL
Patrick Henry 29
Holly Hill 9
HOLLY HILL - The JV Lady Raiders lost at home on Tuesday.
Scoring for HHA was Matalyn Barrett with 4 points, Julianna Grooms with 3 points and Taylor Weathers with 2 points.
HHA will play host to Dorchester Academy on Friday at 4 p.m.
JV BOYS BASKETBALL
Patrick Henry 52, Holly Hill Academy 10
Howard Middle 33
Calhoun County Middle 19
Howard Middle School picked up a win against Calhoun County Middle on Monday night.
Howard was led by Christian Moss with 16 points.