Tamminen pleased with progress of HHCA boys team
By David Shelton
Hilton Head – After winning only five games a year ago, the Hilton Head Christian boys basketball team is enjoying solid success this season, much to the delight of coach Mac Tamminen.
The Eagles enters the final week of regular season play with a 9-9 record overall and a solid 6-3 record in region play. The team has a solid shot of qualifying for the SCISA state AA playoffs.
“We have really come together of late and seem to be playing our best basketball at the right time,” the coach said earlier this week. “I am really pleased with the effort of this group. They really work hard and they have really had the mindset all year that we are going to be a playoff team. Last year was really tough but it’s a credit to these guys that are returning. They wanted to be better this year.”
Hilton Head Christian’s roster has seven seniors so experience has been a key factor.
“We have four returners from last year’s team and every win is really special,” Tamminen said. “We hit rock bottom last year but the returning guys were determined to be better.”
Senior point guard Jamarion Clark has been the leader this season, averaging 12 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Senior Zeke Ralston, a 6-6 post player, is averaging nine rebounds per game and sophomore guard Michael Graupner is the team’s best outside shooting threat.
Tamminen says team play and unselfish attitudes is the reason for this year’s success.
“It really has been a total team effort,” he said. “We could have a different leading scorer in every game. We get a lot of contributions from everyone on the team. Whether it’s rebounding, scoring or playing defense. They just play really well together and they are focused on being as competitive as they can be.”
The other two starters this season are seniors Matt Lehman and R.J. Bartolomucci – both members of the school’s outstanding golf program. Lehman is headed to Furman to play golf while Bartolomucci will play golf at High Point.
Senior Drew Robinson is first off the bench with seniors Andy Ballard and Jake Heller also seeing time off the bench.
Juniors Cole Webster and Craig Oliver round out the roster.
Hilton Head Christian’s girls’ team, coached by Kenny Conroy, is headed to the state playoffs with the goal of repeating as the AA state champions. The Lady Eagles have rolled through region play and look forward to the start of the postseason.
Senior Ziaira Doe continues to lead the way this season, averaging 24.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Jossie Frazier is averaging 10.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while Brielle McCarthy is averaging just under eight points per game.
Callie Haertel is a key rebounder, averaging 7.7 boards per game.