McKie leads Irmo to 4A state title, school's first perfect season
Sat, 02 Mar 2013 04:39:36 GMT —
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- Justin McKie scored 20 points with 10 rebounds and Detrek Browning added 16 points to lead Irmo to a 65-46 victory over Goose Creek in the boys Class 4A state championship Friday night.
It was the second state title for the Yellow Jackets (29-0) in three years and the fifth in coach Tim Whipple's 32 years at the school. The victory capped Irmo's first boys basketball undefeated season.
Whipple, who has more than 600 career wins, had a run of five championship game appearances in the 1990's with Irmo, winning three of them, but never anything quite like an undefeated season.
"I haven't even grasped it yet," said Whipple immediately after the game. "You got to have a special group and they were from day one. They stayed focused, what can I say? They made coaching easy."
McKie scored 14 first-half points as the Yellow Jackets used an active 2-3 zone to limit Goose Creek (21-5) to 5-of-25 shooting, including 4 of 16 from 3-point range as the team capped off the the unbeaten season.
"It's incredible, unbelievable," said McKie. "It doesn't happen often. Whether it be high school, college, or professional, it doesn't happen often. Almost never. We wanted it bad and we knew to get that we had to win this game and that's what we went and did."
Shaquille Patrick, who finished with 18 points, kept the Gators in it by scoring 12 points in the first half on four 3-pointers. Dantez Bennamon added 11 points for Goose Creek, which shot 28 percent from the field (14 of 50).
Irmo's lead was never fewer than 12 points in the second half.