Athlete of Week: McDowell lifts Panthers to next level

cfhoops-30jThe Carolina Forest boys basketball team recently wrapped up a historic season on the hardwood. It also proved to be a breakthrough year for Panthers junior Damon McDowell.

Just as Carolina Forest came to life down the home stretch of the season, McDowell also caught fire at the right time to lead the Panthers to a share of the Region 6-4A title and the third round of the Class 4A playoffs. His 25-point, 13-rebound performance in an overtime upset of No. 1 seed James Island marked Carolina Forest’s deepest playoff run in school history.

“Every time we get in the playoffs we would always lose in the first round,” said the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “I think it was a mental thing, because once we got past the first round it was like, ‘Watch out for Carolina Forest.’ We started coming together as a team and showing the mental toughness that we built throughout the region.”

The learning curve took some time the Panthers, who lost three out of five region contests before hitting their stride and winning their final three region contests by a combined seven points. Carolina Forest claimed a rare home game and scored a double-digit win over Bluffton in the first round before hitting the road to take on Lower State favorite James Island.

“We knew ever since summer workouts we had a good team, and we started out playing pretty well until about the middle of the season,” McDowell said. “We just weren’t playing together well as a team. Coach (Will) Brunson told us we needed to relax and have fun, and if we kept playing within the system and playing together as a team everything would come together.”

Carolina Forest’s run eventually came to an end in a 61-45 loss at Lower State finalist Irmo in the third round, as McDowell tallied 14 points and eight rebounds. But the Panthers are already looking forward to next season, losing only three seniors and returning a solid corp that includes McDowell, Duane Moss, Richmond Collier and Tariq Timmons. McDowell is already looking forward to it.

“I would say the expectations for this team next year is to win the state championship,” McDowell said. “We have shown we can play with anybody, and now everybody believes we can do it.”

Photo by Prep Stars Media

Comments

comments

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks Saturday

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks SaturdayIt took a couple of extra minutes in overtime, but [more]

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGA

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGAThe St. James High girls golf team turned in another [more]

NMB captures runner-up finish at Hub City Classic

NMB captures runner-up finish at Hub City ClassicThe North Myrtle Beach volleyball team scored some big victories [more]

Coast FA girls teams shine at Charleston tournament

Coast FA girls teams shine at Charleston tournamentTwo Coast FA girls teams entered the Women's Charleston Select [more]

Edward's late grab sets up Gamecocks' game-winner

Edward's late grab sets up Gamecocks' game-winnerSouth Carolina receiver and Conway High product Bryan Edwards made [more]

Tigers wake up in time to knock off Boston College

Tigers wake up in time to knock off Boston CollegeFour fourth-quarter touchdowns led the No. 2 Clemson Tigers to [more]

CF girls, MB boys prevail at St. James Invitational

CF girls, MB boys prevail at St. James InvitationalThe Myrtle Beach boys and Carolina Forest girls swam to [more]

Leathernecks lay leather to Chants in blowout fashion

Leathernecks lay leather to Chants in blowout fashionWestern Illinois, ranked 19th in the NCAA Division I FCS [more]

Chiefs come out swinging for quick TKO of Camden

Chiefs come out swinging for quick TKO of CamdenThe No. 2-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team scored [more]

Braves blast past Sharks, win Battle of Highway 707

Braves blast past Sharks, win Battle of Highway 707The Socastee High football team showed it can rebound from [more]

Saints win another thriller, set program victory mark

Saints win another thriller, set program victory markFor the second consecutive week, the Christian Academy of Myrtle [more]

Panthers excel in all three phases in shutout of Lions

Panthers excel in all three phases in shutout of LionsThe Carolina Forest High football team bounced back in a [more]

Lady Chants rally to down Troy in double overtime

Lady Chants rally to down Troy in double overtimeThe Coastal Carolina women's soccer team had a flair for [more]

Photo Gallery: Rivals clash in Battle of Highway 707

Photo Gallery: Rivals clash in Battle of Highway 707Socastee defeated visiting St. James 65-14 in Friday's installment of [more]

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MB

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MBIn the long, rich rivalry of the Battle of the [more]

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory Bell

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory BellMyrtle Beach stunned No. 5 Conway 13-12 on Thursday night [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Seahawks net region wins

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Seahawks net region winsThe Carolina Forest volleyball team completed a clean sweep of [more]

Socastee stays perfect in region play at midpoint

Socastee stays perfect in region play at midpointThe Socastee High girls tennis team captured its 10th win [more]

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Sharks, Braves try to reply

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Sharks, Braves try to replyThe Battle of the Victory Bell rings into action one [more]

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off BravesHow good is the St. James girls golf program? Good [more]

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT win

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT winSenior Wes White took a loose ball and found the [more]

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of Tigers

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of TigersThe Myrtle Beach High girls tennis and volleyball teams dominated [more]

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meet

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meetFive Grand Strand area cross country teams hit the ground [more]

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivals

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivalsThe Socastee High girls tennis team delivered an impressive 1-2 [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foes

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foesIn a showdown for first place in Region 6-5A standings, [more]

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks Saturday

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks SaturdayIt took a couple of extra minutes in overtime, but [more]

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGA

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGAThe St. James High girls golf team turned in another [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach