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Goose Creek High School
Goose Creek

Gators return strong cast for next season

By Rob Gantt

Special to the HSSR

 

 GOOSE CREEK - The Goose Creek High School boys basketball team won a region crown and made a run to the third round of the Class 5A playoffs before falling by a single digit to Conway High School.

The Gators finished 15-13 after a strong surge to close out the season. The future is bright for Coach Blake Hall’s team. Many key contributors can return next winter.

“We’ve got some guys that have gotten some quality minutes,” he said. “Every team has an opportunity to be in the mix. It depends on what these young men do between now and the beginning of next season. They have more than enough ability and it’s a personal choice for them to commit to improve.”

The playoff loss was the end of the road for five seniors: guards Denarius Hawkins, Chris McGill and Justin Alexander and forwards Shakarian Nelson and Jamel McGowan. McGowan didn’t play this season due to injury.

“It’s like I told them in the locker room after the game,” Hall said of his senior group. “They left our program better than when they first appeared on varsity. That’s what I ask of them outside basketball, too. You want to leave people and places better than they were when you got there.”

Against Conway, sophomore guard Demetri Simmons led the Gators with 14 points while Nelson added seven points and junior Yaturi Bolton chipped in six points.

Goose Creek’s three All-Region 7-AAAAA selections this winter were Nelson, Simmons and Alexander.

Bolton and Simmons, two consistent contributors to the scoreboard, are the group of lettermen who can return next winter when the Gators figure to be in the running for another strong season. More juniors are Breon Steele, Xavion Bennett, Irvin Scarlett, Taijon Simmons, Malichi Williams and Tykelvion Thompson.

Jayden Johnson is a sophomore.

Many of the returners led the team in scoring in at least one game this season.

 

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