River Bluff men’s hoops Coach Lee takes a look at 2017-2018 season
Lexington One’s newest HS basketball program already off to 4-0 start
Lexington, SC (James Bowers) - Year 5 of River Bluff Gators Varsity Men’s Basketball has begun on a positive note. The Gators won their first Lake Murray Tip-Off tournament title, with an upset of rival Lexington. It’s a good sign for the county’s youngest prep basketball program.
Last year, RBHS had a disappointing 8-15 mark playing in a region that boasts some of the state’s toughest competition with the likes of Irmo, Lexington, and Blythewood. Adding to the challenge for Coach Lee was the need to replace six departing players from last year’s squad. So far this season junior forwards Terrill Windom and JT Reeves have stepped up to create a huge scoring presence for RB. Reeves is one of the few returners from last year’s team while Windom is a transfer from the Orlando, Florida area. Still, there are questions to answer for the RBHS team. “As we go through the region, we’re gonna find out who we are," Lee said during a recent interview.
Lee again looks at the region slate as a tremendous challenge, with the familiar Yellow Jackets, Wildcats and Bengals threatening. Still, Lee sees coaching against the likes of Tim Whipple, Bailey Harris, and Zeke Washington a positive. “It’s a great learning experience. I’ve learned a lot about the game of basketball from watching what those teams do, ” Lee says. “You have to take advantage of coaching against those guys.” When asked about the progress of River Bluff’s basketball program in its brief history, Lee was honest. “It’s been a slow process. In Lexington County basketball has one of the shortest seasons in youth sports and it's often a secondary sport for these kids," Lee states. “We want them to play all sports, but we want to grow the game of basketball as well. I’d love to be a little further along, but I’ve had great kids, and great people to work with.”
The Gators had a great showing in the Lake Murray Tip-Off Tourney. They began their winning run on Monday with a 66-33 win over Columbia, followed by a 66-56 triumph over Strom Thurmond the next night. River Bluff then had a winning Wednesday with a 58-36 victory over in-county foe Pelion. In the Friday championship game, Ben Lee put what he had learned from Bailey Harris to good use as River Bluff knocked off Lexington 54-40 for the tournament title. The Gators will get back in action next week with a Tuesday road showdown at Lugoff-Elgin.