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

Region 6-4A: Seahawks rip Dogs; Falcons stun Chiefs

Region 6-4A: Seahawks rip Dogs; Falcons stun ChiefsOn the first Friday night of the season that could [more]

Region 6-5A: Tigers roar past Bruins; Panthers roll

Region 6-5A: Tigers roar past Bruins; Panthers rollXavier Kinlaw scored four touchdowns and called the game-clinching play [more]

Panthers power up, push through for region crown

Panthers power up, push through for region crownLong before Carolina Forest’s volleyball team clinched another region championship, [more]

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMS

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMSJust when you thought it was safe to go back [more]

Coast FA holds free soccer ball giveaway

Coast FA holds free soccer ball giveawayYou've heard of taking a free kick in soccer, but [more]

Panthers take region title, four local teams advance

Panthers take region title, four local teams advanceThe Carolina Forest girls golf team captured the Region 6-5A [more]

NMB nips rival MB by one stroke to win region crown

NMB nips rival MB by one stroke to win region crownMonday's Region 6-4A girls golf tournament came down to a [more]

Record crowd sees Chants fall short to Georgia State

Record crowd sees Chants fall short to Georgia StateCoastal Carolina football held the Georgia State Panthers scoreless in [more]

Region 6-5A: Tigers top Braves; Panthers rip SF

Region 6-5A: Tigers top Braves; Panthers rip SFConway appeared to find its identity last week, pummeling West [more]

Region 6-4A: Chiefs suffer first defeat; MB dominates

Region 6-4A: Chiefs suffer first defeat; MB dominatesZayshaun Rice faked a pop pass to a receiver streaking [more]

Thursday Wrapup: MB golf, CF volleyball edge rivals

Thursday Wrapup: MB golf, CF volleyball edge rivalsThe Carolina Forest volleyball team's quest to complete an undefeated [more]

Seahawks QB Doty finalist for elite title of Mr. Football

Seahawks QB Doty finalist for elite title of Mr. Football Luke Doty is already considered one of the best quarterbacks [more]

Tuesday Roundup: NMB, CF sweep on Senior Night

Tuesday Roundup: NMB, CF sweep on Senior NightThe North Myrtle Beach volleyball team celebrated its Senior Night [more]

Edwards making his mark in Gamecock record book

Edwards making his mark in Gamecock record bookBefore Bryan Edwards was breaking records at South Carolina. Before [more]

BUFC, Coast teams prevail at Great Carolina Shootout

BUFC, Coast teams prevail at Great Carolina ShootoutThe Beach United Football Club crowned a pair of champions [more]

Region 6-5A: Tigers light up Knights; Panthers roll

Region 6-5A: Tigers light up Knights; Panthers rollConway returned to its roots Friday night and used a [more]

Region 6-4A: Seahawks, Chiefs dominate debuts

Region 6-4A: Seahawks, Chiefs dominate debutsMany high school quarterbacks would consider what Luke Doty has [more]

Chiefs using top tourneys to prep for 4A title defense

Chiefs using top tourneys to prep for 4A title defenseThe defending Class 4A state champion North Myrtle Beach volleyball [more]

Thursday Roundup: Region hot streak continues for CF

Thursday Roundup: Region hot streak continues for CFThe Carolina Forest volleyball team, unbeaten in Region 6-5A play, [more]

Carolina Forest swim team sweeps region meet titles

Carolina Forest swim team sweeps region meet titlesCarolina Forest High School's boys and girls swim teams bested [more]

Monday Roundup: Gray, NMB see close seconds

Monday Roundup: Gray, NMB see close secondsFor the second straight week the North Myrtle Beach volleyball [more]

Mountaineers manhandle Chants in Sun Belt opener

Mountaineers manhandle Chants in Sun Belt openerThe Coastal Carolina football team suffered a 56-37 loss at [more]

Week 5: Braves end skid; MB wins ugly Victory Bell

Week 5: Braves end skid; MB wins ugly Victory BellHow do you know when you have a pretty good [more]

Carolina Forest swimmers sweep in regional tuneup

Carolina Forest swimmers sweep in regional tuneupWith the SCHSL regional meets less than one week away, [more]

Thursday Roundup: CF, NMB volleyball stay hot

Thursday Roundup: CF, NMB volleyball stay hotThe Carolina Forest volleyball team capped a hectic week with [more]

Region 6-4A: Seahawks rip Dogs; Falcons stun Chiefs

Region 6-4A: Seahawks rip Dogs; Falcons stun ChiefsOn the first Friday night of the season that could [more]

Region 6-5A: Tigers roar past Bruins; Panthers roll

Region 6-5A: Tigers roar past Bruins; Panthers rollXavier Kinlaw scored four touchdowns and called the game-clinching play [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach