Basketball season ends at Dutch Fork, Irmo

By Thomas Grant Jr.

The 2021-22 basketball season ended last week for both Irmo-based schools.

Both Irmo teams and the Dutch Fork boys were eliminated in the first round. The Lady Yellow Jackets were routed 53-21 by North Myrtle Beach in Class 4A, while the Silver Foxes saw their season end in a 78-63 loss to Summerville.

The following night pitted a matchup between the last two Class 4A boys’ basketball champions. Defending champion Irmo headed to Florence as an at-large team facing 2021-22 champion Wilson.

The Yellow Jackets fell 53-42 to the Tigers. Almost immediately, speculation began about the future of longtime head coach Tim Whipple.

He ended this season with 848 career wins, second only to Great Falls’ John Smith in South Carolina High School League history. Whipple was noncommittal about coming back for a 44th season in Irmo.

Having won the Region 4-5A title, the Dutch Fork girls’ basketball looked to capitalize on having home-court advantage through the first three rounds of the Class 5A Lower State playoffs.

The Lady Silver Foxes dominated their first-round opponent Cane Bay in a 77-18 victory. Up next Friday was a Summerville team coming off a 43-23 win over St. James.

After jumping out to a 10-4 lead in the first quarter, Dutch Fork was outscored 11-3 in the second quarter to fall behind 15-13 at halftime. The Lady Green Wave stretched their lead to 20-15 to open the second half before the Lady Silver Foxes used a 15-5 run to reclaim the lead going into the fourth quarter.

Dutch Fork extended its lead as many as six points. Down 38-32 with 3:08 left, Summerville outscored the Lady Silver Foxes 13-4 to end the game and claim the 45-42 win.

The loss snapped a 9-game winning streak for Dutch Fork, who ended the season with a 23-3 record under first-year head coach Candace Bush. This season also saw senior guard Michaela Fairwell earn both Region 4-5A Player of the Year and selection to the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association’s All-State team.

Dutch Fork forward Christyonna Jackson with the layup against Cane Bay. Photo by