Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Keenan prepares for Fulwiley’s last ride

Keenan’s MiLaysia Fulwiley Photo by Mike Maddock

Keenan’s MiLaysia Fulwiley Photo by Mike Maddock

The 2022-2023 season will be the final time basketball fans will get to see Keenan’s MiLaysia Fulwiley compete on the high school level.

What do you expect from someone who has already won four state championships, including the last three 3A championships? How about a fifth?

That’s the goal for Fulwiley and her Lady Raider teammates as they head into the 2022-2023 season.

“It’s going to be tough,” Keenan head coach Reggie McLain said. “The team is excited. I’m trying to keep them level-headed. It’s hard when you have high school kids who’ve won three state championships in a row, played for four, to keep them levelheaded and keep them willing to work hard. That’s the main thing.”

It’s a good problem to have for McLain as he returns five seniors who have played for a state championship every year they’ve been in high school.

While much of the focus has been on Fulwiley, who signed her National Letter of Intent with the University of South Carolina in November, there is plenty of talent and experience beyond her. Teirra Griffin, Samaya Johnson, and Aiyo Price will join Fulwiley in the starting lineup.

The Lady Raiders just finished playing in a Thanksgiving tournament at Brookland-Cayce High School and will participate in a Myrtle Beach showcase, the She Got Next tournament in Atlanta, and the Chick-fil-A Tournament. The Lady Raiders will also square off against A.C. Flora and Lower Richland in the non-region slate.

Keenan will compete in a new classification this season as the Lady Raiders drop to 2A. While McLain has coached in the classification before, much has changed since then.

Bishop England has also moved back down, along with Oceanside Collegiate.

In the Lady Raiders’ own region, Region 4-2A, they will face state title contender Gray Collegiate twice.

“We don’t know a lot about 2A,” McLain said. “We have to feel our way around and see if we’ll be the team to beat.”

Fulwiley’s last ride will be quite challenging. McLain said she has gotten stronger and is able to touch the rim. She’s worked on her range and improved on her skills. While that may not be music to opponents’ ears, fans will be even more excited.

For McLain, Keenan’s quest for a fourth straight state championship will require hard work from his players. He wants them to stay focused.

“They know they have the potential to win a state championship,” McLain said. “We expect to win. They have to stay focused and put work in every day.”

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