woodland

Woodland High basketball coach Leon Wheaton. 

Woodland is suddenly one of the hottest basketball teams in the Lowcountry.

The Wolverines beat Barnwell on Friday to improve to 3-0 in Region 5-AA. The victory also was the sixth in the last seven games for the Woodland boys, pushing their overall record to 9-8.

Leon Wheaton, who spent the last 10 seasons building a winning program at Fort Dorchester, is in his first season as Woodland's head coach. The team got off to a slow start but Wheaton felt all along he had a team capable of competing for a region title.

“It was slow at first but they had to get to know me and understand what I wanted and I had to evaluate what we had,” said Wheaton, who also has coached at Cross High. “We have good, competitive kids. They’re working hard. Once we started putting things together and having some success, their confidence level just continues to rise.

“This team has really bought into playing together. It has been great to witness their progress. They dealt with a lot of separation last year so we have been over-emphasizing team first.”

Sophomore Michael Shuler is leading the team in scoring with 16 points per game.

“He has become a complete player on both ends of the floor, getting teammates involved and pressuring the ball on defense.”

Junior Carlous Pelzer is the second-leading scorer and top rebounder while senior Markeis Parson is the anchor defensively.

“He’s a high energy guy with a hate to lose attitude and that rubs off on his teammates,” Wheaton said.

College commitments 

Summerville receiver Andre Banks, an All-Lowcountry football selection, committed to Newberry College over the weekend ahead of the Feb. 6 national signing day.

Berkeley receiver Dervon Pesnell announced his intentions to attend Campbell University.

First Baptist running back Michel Dukes made an official visit to Clemson over the weekend and was officially offered a scholarship. Dukes has more than a dozen FBS offers with Syracuse and East Carolina joining Clemson as the favorites.

Wando linebacker Justin Pelic received a preferred walk-on offer to Florida. Pelic has several Power 5 preferred walk-on offers, including Notre Dame, Wake Forest and North Carolina.

Summerville linebacker Cole Phillips reported an offer from Limestone over the weekend. Garrett Tech lineman Dalmont Gourdine visited UConn last weekend and is visiting Tulane this weekend.

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