Trojans Sets New School Record for Most Regular-Season Wins
Two seasons ago, the 2020-2021 Lee County boys basketball team made history by having the program’s best regular season ever, then went on to make the Class 6A Final Four, where the history-making season came to an end at the hands of Kell. Still, the team finished with a 17-11 record, and hopes were high for another deep run in the state playoffs heading into the start of last season.
It would be another solid regular season, which ended with the Trojans claiming the region tournament title over the Valdosta Wildcats with a one-point win. But there would be no repeat of the previous season as the team bowed out in the first round of the state playoffs with a tough 62-54 overtime loss to Rockdale County.
Now here they are again, back with renewed hopes of finishing what they started with that team two years ago. The Trojans have set the Lee County basketball team record – again – with the best regular season in school history: a 22-3 overall record and a 9-1 region mark.
Head coach Kirven Davis, who is in his 10th season at Lee County since coming over from Colquitt County, says he likes what he has seen from this team, although he admits he wasn’t sure what to expect before this season.
“We graduated eight seniors last season, and I really wasn’t sure how we would do this year,” Davis admits.
He says that even with the 22 wins and just 3 losses, the record is a bit deceiving.
“We don’t necessarily pass the eye test,” says Davis. “Yes, we have won a lot of games, but we have some heavy kids, we aren’t the tallest team, and we aren’t the fastest team on the court most nights.”
But Davis says the key to this year’s Lee County basketball team is that each player knows his role and plays it well.
“For one thing, our seniors were sophomores on that Final Four team from a couple of years ago, so they gained some great experience and have grown up since then,” he says. “We are very smart.”
One of those seniors playing his role is Donovan “DJ” Taylor, who leads the state with 12.2 assists per game and is tied for second overall in the country in that category. (The top player is Keshrey Smith of Pasadena, CA, who averages 12.5 assists per game.)
The team’s top rebounder is a player known for his exploits on the football field: Ousmane Kromah, Lee County’s phenomenal sophomore running back and the recipient of ITG Next’s Offensive Player of the Year award is “just as tenacious on the basketball court” according to Davis. “He is in double-digit rebounds and points just about every night.”
The Lee County basketball team’s defensive specialist is senior Caden King, who was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year last year.
“He is as scrappy as they come,” Davis says.
Another of the team’s seniors is Christian Brown, who plays the 2 guard role and is averaging 9.3 points per game.
Senior guard Harrison Skinner is “a unique case,” according to Davis. “He’s playing on a torn ACL. We thought his season was over.”
Despite the painful knee ailment, Skinner leads the team in 3-point percentage and is shooting over 40% from the field.
Of course, every good basketball team has its “sixth man,” the player who doesn’t start but is just as important, coming off the bench when the team needs a spark. For Lee County, that player is sophomore Josiah Parker, and according to Davis, he’s going to be a player to watch these next couple of years.
“Josiah is going to be the next big name to come out of South Georgia,” the Trojans head coach says. “He can play any position on the court, from the point guard to the 5.”
That is very rare. Most point guards are not made to play center or vice-versa. But Davis says that’s what makes Parker a super sophomore.
“He’s grown a lot since last year,” Davis say. “He was 6 feet, 4 inches tall last year and he’s 6 feet, 6 inches tall this year.”
Parker does start some games, and other times he comes on in relief.
“If he doesn’t start, he’s definitely the first guy to come off the bench,” Davis says.
Whatever happens the rest of this season, Coach Davis has taken it upon himself to prepare his players for how they will look away from the court.
“I gifted every one of my varsity players their first nice black suit,” he says, beaming with pride. “I want to help these players two-fold. I wanted to help usher these young men over to manhood. Graduation and the proms are coming up. In this day and age, a black suit is not something young men are thinking about, but every one of them needs to be able to have a suit to wear. I think It’s important.”
As of this writing, the Trojans are ranked as the third-best team from Class 6A and No. 23 overall in the ITG Next Georgia boys basketball Top 25 poll. We rank the best teams from all classifications from No. 1 to No. 25.