Without question, Berkeley High School’s boys basketball team is in the conversation for a Class 5A state championship as the curtains come up on the postseason on Feb. 13.
The Stags (22-1), ranked No. 2 behind top-ranked Dorman, have crushed most everything in their way during the regular season, winning by more than 20 points a game. They might be getting more players involved as the playoffs open.
“When the playoffs start, a lot of coaches say the bench gets short which means fewer people will get playing time,” BHS coach Joe Wallace said. “I believe we will be able to continue to play a good number of guys. As we have gone through our second round of region games, it’s been nice to see other guys step up and contribute. That’s going to be huge once the playoffs start.”
In a recent 85-57 victory over Stratford, second-leading scorer and senior forward Trevur Smalls led the way with 27 points but the Stags also got key contributions from fifth-leading scorer Hakeem Meggett, a junior guard, and role players Jayan Copeland and Marcel Jackson. All three players had double figures in points as the Stags rolled to another victory.
The Stags have home-court advantage through the first three rounds of the playoffs if they keep winning. The second and third rounds are Feb. 16 and 19. The Lower State final is at Florence Civic Center on March 23 and the state final is March 1 in Columbia’s Colonial Life Arena.
On the season, senior forward Ishan White powers the Stags with 15.7 points, 10 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Smalls averages 15.2 points and 6.4 rebounds. Senior guard DJ Chisolm is the third-leading scorer at 10.5 points a contest and leads with 3.2 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Senior guard Cameron Fordham is a key contributor with 7.9 points, 2.5 assists and 2.2 assists. Meggett chips in 6.3 points and three rebounds per game.
The playoffs will be the final season for 10 Berkeley seniors.