School programs

Former Gamecocks led high school programs to state titles | Colombia

There was some positive news this weekend regarding former men’s basketball players tied to the University of South Carolina athletics.

Calhoun County’s Zam Fredrick and Wilson’s Carlos Powell both led their respective schools to South Carolina High School League titles at the University of South Carolina-Aiken Convocation Center.

The Saints beat Scott’s Branch 53-49 on Friday, to win the Class A title. It was 10th on the program, just behind Great Falls with 11, all won under Fredrick, which is the most by any coach Palmetto State high school basketball court.

“Ten is a nice number,” said Fredrick, who was the nation’s leading scorer at South Carolina in the 1980-81 season. “I didn’t allow myself to think about it because I wanted to stay focused. I wanted to make sure (my team) got what they deserved. Before the game it wasn’t about me, but after the game. “

Powell led Wilson to a 52-43 win over AC Flora on Saturday to claim the Class 4A title. It was the school’s first title since 2007 and came in Wilson’s second year at the helm.

“Hard work and dedication. Hard work and dedication. That’s what I’ll take away from this team,” Powell said. “I was relieved at the final horn. Like I told the guys, a lot of people are talking about us and a lot of people are talking about me. “But at the end of the day, what are you going to say now?” You gotta put some respect on the job, you gotta put some respect on Wilson, and you gotta put some respect on the guys in the locker room too. And above all, you have to respect Coach Powell.

The South Carolina High School League Finals also saw two Columbia teams emerge as champions once again. On Thursday, Ridge View beat Fort Dorchester 65-57 to claim Class 5A.

It was the Blazers’ fourth state title in five years, the previous three won in Class 4A and the last under head coach Yerrick Stoneman. Next season, he will lead the men’s basketball program at Oak Hill Academy.

The following night saw another All-Midlands clash for the Class 3A title. WJ Keenan held off Camden 60-58 in a game between two of Palmetto State’s top players in the Lady Raiders MiLaysia Fuliway and Joyce Edwards of the Lady Bulldogs.

Fulwiley finished with 41 points, 17 rebounds and five steals and Edwards finished the game with 24 points, 14 and eight blocks.

It was the third consecutive Class 3A title and, like Ridge View, the fourth in the last five years for Keenan.

The Lady Bulldogs were coached by former University of South Carolina women’s basketball player Natalie Norris. The following day, former Gamecock Larry Davis watched his top-ranked York Prep men’s basketball team lose 56-53 to Gray Collegiate Academy.

It was the fourth state title in five years for the War Eagles, whose assistant coach Brandon Wallace also played for the Gamecocks.