There will be plenty of NCAA Division I talent on the floor on Tuesday when the Sumter High School varsity boys basketball team plays host to Hartsville in its home opener.
The Red Foxes will come to town and be led by point guard Trae Hannibal, …
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Hartsville at Sumter, 6 p.m.
Crestwood at West Florence, 6 p.m.
East Clarendon at Lake City, 6 p.m.
Scott’s Branch at Denmark-Olar, 6 p.m.
VARSITY AND JV BASKETBALL
Wilson Hall at Northside Christian (No Varsity Girls), 5 p.m.
First Baptist at Laurence Manning, 4 p.m.
Thomas Sumter at Robert E. Lee, 4 p.m.
Andrew Jackson Academy at Clarendon Hall, 4 p.m.
JUNIOR VARSITY BASKETBALL
Orangeburg Christian at Sumter Christian (No JV Girls), 6 p.m.
B TEAM BASKETBALL
Cardinal Newman at Wilson Hall, 5 p.m.
The Red Foxes will come to town and be led by point guard Trae Hannibal, who has committed to play with South Carolina. SHS has 6-foot-8-inch forward Calvin Felder, who has signed with Boston College.
"Trae is going to the SEC (Southeastern Conference) and Calvin is going to the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference)," said Sumter head coach Shawn Jones said. "It prepares us for conference play with how quick he (Hannibal) is. Calvin will match up with him some and other guards will too, to try to wear him down. It's good to match up with other kids going to a DI school."
Felder is averaging 14 points in two games, while Hannibal is averaging 20.5 points in two games.
Also, Sumter's Omar Croskey is being recruited by several DI schools, and Jalen Johnson has signed with DII Newberry.
The teams met last week in Hartsville, and Sumter came away with an 88-77 victory. Hannibal scored 33 points so slowing him down will be of the utmost importance to Jones.
"We have to keep Trae Hannibal out of the paint," Jones said. "He shot 20 free throws. We have to keep him off the free throw line."
Sumter took a loss in its next game though, falling to Lakewood 69-61 on Friday. It wasn't nearly as close as it sounds as the Gamecocks trailed by as many as 23 points in the fourth quarter before a late run closed the gap.
Jones knows some of the things his team needs to correct after losing to Lakewood.
"We're not as good defensively as I thought we were," he said. "We were trying new schemes defensively. The last game is all on me; we were trying a different scheme and we weren't prepared to take on that scheme."
The Sumter girls, who are 4-1, will be playing Hartsville for the third time. The Lady Gamecocks won each of the first two games.
The Sumter girls defeated Hartsville 58-41 in a tournament in Florence to open the season and won 52-36 last week.
"Both games were tightly contested," Sumter girls head coach Jeff Schaffer said. "We're not doing a good job of finding good shooters. Hartsville has two or three good shooters."
Schaffer is referring to Hartsville junior point guard Tarewyn Dawson, senior point guard Teasia McPhail and junior guard Jazolyn Pendergrass, who scored 12 points in the first game against Sumter.
"We're concerned to get out and guard shooters on the perimeter," he said.
Sumter defeated Lakewood 53-28 on Friday.
"Our intensity level was good, but our defense is not where it needs to be, and our fundamentals are not real good," he said. "In practice, we're working on rotating, man-to-man defense and fundamentals."
Junior wing player Tamerah Brown leads in Sumter in scoring with 10 points per game, followed by senior guard Ki'ari Cain with 8.6 points per game.
"Our scoring is balanced," Schaffer said. "Four or five of them have between six and eight points per game."
Browns also averages seven rebounds per game, while sophomore forward Layken Cox averages seven to eight rebounds per game and junior guard Dynasia Jackson averages four rebounds per game.
"We're without two of our four post players," Schaffer said. "We're a work in progress, but we're farther ahead than we were last year."
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