2018-03-09 / Sports

Big 3rd quarter propels Dorman over Irmo

By Tim Gochnaur

Irmo’s Winston Hill gets a dunk against Dorman. 
Photo by Perry McLeod Irmo’s Winston Hill gets a dunk against Dorman. Photo by Perry McLeod Find these pictures and many more here!

It’s the third quarter of the boys’ 5A state championship with two minutes to go, and Dorman leads Irmo 27-26.

Dorman’s Myles Tate sinks a short jumper. Irmo misses its next shot.

Dorman’s Ethan Parton drops a rainbow three. Irmo misses again.

Tate takes his turn from beyond the arc.

Swish! Suddenly, Dorman leads 35-26, and, if you are from Irmo, you get the feeling that Cinderella’s slipper just might not fit this time.

Riding a 10- game winning streak that even Coach Tim Whipple couldn’t find the words to explain, the Irmo Yellow Jackets ran into a hungry bunch of Dorman Cavaliers at Colonial Life Arena, and the Cavaliers prevailed to win their second consecutive state championship 44-33 last Friday night, March 2 at the Colonial Life Area.

Irmo led 19-15 after the first half, and the 20-8 run by Dorman in the third quarter perfectly encapsulated the season for both teams. Irmo had a season of offensive difficulties. Dorman often took the first half of a game to figure out the weaknesses of an opponent before pouncing in the second half.

Irmo’s Dylan Williams gets by Dorman’s Kamron Smith for a basket.Photo by Perry McLeod Irmo’s Dylan Williams gets by Dorman’s Kamron Smith for a basket.
Photo by Perry McLeod
“It is not like we did anything different; we didn’t,” Irmo’s Whipple said. “We have turned the ball over a lot this year and have struggled in scoring a lot. But we have been fortunate in being able to get over that and beyond it. Tonight, we couldn’t. Dorman is just too good. They have too many weapons, and they shot the ball extremely well. But the turnovers were the killer.”

Irmo had 18 of them.

Dorman head coach Thomas Ryan said the win is another step in the Cavaliers establishing themselves as a premier program in South Carolina.

Irmo’s Trevez Caldwell leads a fast break against Dorman. 
Photo by Perry McLeod Irmo’s Trevez Caldwell leads a fast break against Dorman. Photo by Perry McLeod “I am just so proud of our kids and how we competed,” Ryan said. “We did not play well in the first half. Give Irmo a lot of credit. They really controlled the tempo offensively. In the second half, our guys were great. They were great defensively. We got up and down the court. I am so proud of these eight seniors. To be able to do it a second time is special; it just is.”

Dorman finished 25- 4, and Tate led the way with 20 points going 5-of- 11 from the field, 2-of-6 from three, and 8- of- 9 from the free throw line. PJ Hall added eight, and Ethan Parton and Kamron Smith each got six.

Irmo finished 21-8 on the year. Winston Hill led the Jackets with 13 points and was 6-of-12 from the field. He also pulled down three rebounds and got three steals. Trevez Caldwell finished with six points and five rebounds. Dylan Williams added six points, and Javonte Young and Hasuan Rivers had three points each. Bostun Rivers got two points, and Raekwon Heath had five assists for the Yellow Jackets.

Save for a short run for each team—Irmo in the second quarter, Dorman in the third—neither team shot the ball well for the game. Dorman went 38 percent from the field (14-of-37) and 28 percent from three (5-of-18). Irmo was just over 32 percent from the field (13-of-40) and just over seven percent from three (1-of-13). Dorman was solid from the charity stripe at 78 percent (11-of-14). Irmo shot 50 percent (6-of-12).

As a look back and a look ahead, an Irmo story bears repeating. In mid- January, the Jackets were 11-7 overall, 2-5 in region play, and in real danger of not making the playoffs. As the magic carpet ride of a 10-game winning streak and dream of a state title fell short last Friday night, Whipple was remarkably pleased and philosophical.

“It wasn’t about this game,” Irmo’s veteran coach said. “It was about the journey to get here. Absolutely incredible. I am really proud of these guys. I know you say that a lot, but there is no one who saw us in January who would say we had a prayer of being able to get here. The guys just stayed focused and worked hard and set an example of what happens when you do things the right way. Maybe that can be an example and inspiration to other teams.”

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