Swansea’s Danae McNeal leads comeback win at S.C. Hoops Festival Senior Showcase
“Rewarding” is perhaps the best way to describle the last 48 hours for Danae McNeal.
The three-time S.C. Basketball Coaches Association Class 3A Player of the Year and Clemson University signee added to her trophy case when she was named Gatorade’s South Carolina Girls’ Player of the Year. She became the third Lexington County player to receive the honor, joining current Batesburg-Leesville girls’ basketball coach Jessica Barr and former Dutch Fork and University of South Carolina center Alaina Coates.
Saturday afternoon at Heathwood Hall, McNeal was named the S.C. Hoops Festival Senior Showcase Girls’ Player of the Game. She scored 12 of her 18 points in the second half for the Dark team, which rallied to defeat the White team 111-98.
“I’m very honored to have received these awards,” McNeal said.
Coached by Lexington’s Molly Goodrich, the White team had a 59-49 advantage. Lady Wildcat guard and University of South Carolina commit Olivia Thompson had 12 of her 14 points in the first half and finished with a team-high seven rebounds and four assists.
The Dark team’s offense awakened in the second half. It outscored the White team 62-39 sparked by the scoring of McNeal, Destiny Coleman of Spring Valley who had a game-high 19 points and Chapin’s Emma Fabry, who finished with 11 points.
The White team briefly reclaimed the lead, thanks in part to Brookland-Cayce’s Aa’Breah Keitt who finished with 14 points. The Dark team answered with 10 unanswered points and closed the game with a 19-6 run.
“We knew we had to play together as a team,” McNeal said. “Just sharing the ball, finding the open person and driving to the basket.”
Gray Collegiate’s Kayla Gordan had six points and Airport’s Myia Jackson added four points for the Dark team. Irmo’s Madison Dopico had seven points and Lexington’s Brooke Foulks finished with six points and six rebounds.
McNeal and Thompson will take part in one more All-Star contest. They will join forces on Team South Carolina in two weeks, as part of the Carolinas Classic All-Star Game in Wilmington, N.C. on March 23.
BOYS Seniors Showcase
Dutch Fork boys’ basketball coach Brett Jones is known for his defensive schemes.
Leading the Dark team, he oversaw a three-point shooting exhibition which put the game away early. HItting 19 three-pointers, the Dark led as many as 43 points in the first half and had eight players finish in double-figures.
Swansea’s Keenan Coats and River Bluff’s Andrew Robinson were among them, finishing with 13 and 14 points, respectively. Robinson had a perfect afternoon, hitting 5-5 from the field and 4-4 from three-point range.
Chico Carter of Cardinal Newman led all scorers with 27 points to earn Player of the Game honors.
Tommy Bruner of two-time Class 2A champion Gray Collegiate finished with 15 points and seven assists and teammate Dallaz Corbitt added eight points along with Lexington’s Bradley Foulks.