Irmo falls to Dorman, 44-33 in SCHSL 5-A Basketball State Title Game

Cavaliers win largely by collecting turnovers, turning them into points

Columbia, SC (James Bowers) - The Irmo Yellow Jackets capped a 21-8 season with a runner up finish in SCHSL 5-A Basketball, after dropping a 44-33 contest to the Cavaliers of Paul M. Dorman High School at Colonial Life Arena Friday night. Dorman’s hard charging style on both sides of the ball benefited them, as they had 18 takeaways and 20 defensive turnovers against Irmo. The Cavs were able to turn these miscues into 15 points on the night.

The first quarter was a defensive struggle that ended with Dorman owning a slim 9-6 lead. Irmo turned on the scoring in the second period, picking up 13 additional points. As the second half began, Dorman saw improved scoring and began to shut down the Irmo effort, scoring 20 points in the third quarter as they began taking control of the contest. In the fourth quarter, Dorman’s defense limited the Yellow Jackets to a mere six points, clinching the 2017-2018 SCHSL 5-A Basketball title for the Cavaliers. Dorman’s state championship is the second straight for head coach Thomas Ryan and his team. The Spartanburg-area school finished the year with a 25-4 record.

Tim Whipple’s Yellow Jackets were led by Winston Hill, who had seven points, Trevez Caldwell, who scored five, and Dylan Williams, who put four on the board for Irmo. Dorman’s effort was headed by Myles Tate, who picked up 15 points for the Cavs, PJ Hall, who scored five points, and Kamron Smith, who added four to Dorman’s total.

Despite their defeat, Irmo’s players kept their heads high during postgame ceremonies as they received the runner-up trophy. The team had advanced to the state title game after shocking a heavily favored Blythewood team with a buzzer-beating game winning shot to win a 49-48 in the qualifying semifinal game. The Jackets had previously defeated Wando, Sumter, and West Ashley in the playoffs.

Irmo began the regular season strong but hit a rough patch at the start of region play. Their players were credited with maintaining their resolve despite the losing streak, and Irmo recovered from the skid to finish third in Region 5-A.The 2017-2018 Irmo Yellow Jackets will be remembered as one of Tim Whipple’s finer clubs. Whipple will have some holes to fill in their next year’s roster, as Winston Hill, Trevez Caldwell, Hasuan Rivers, and Raekown Heath all graduate in 2018. However, the SC prep basketball legend and Yellow Jackets head coach Whipple has had little trouble molding young talent in his decades-long career.

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