Irmo Hoops One Of Nation's Top Teams


By Sports Department

IRMO, S.C. -- The Irmo High School boys' basketball team has finished No. 52 nationally for the 2012-13 season. The announcement was made by MaxPreps, a California-based company that ranks more than 20,000 high school boys' varsity basketball teams nationwide.

Irmo capped a perfect 29-0 season with a 65-46 whipping of Goose Creek on March 1 to claim its fifth South Carolina AAAA state championship. The Yellow Jackets were involved in four games decided by eight or fewer points including a 62-59 win over South Pointe of Rock Hill on Feb. 19. But Irmo remained unscathed and is one of 10 basketball teams being honored on the seventh annual boys' MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard.

"MaxPreps is thrilled to work with the Army National Guard to honor America's finest high school boys' basketball teams with the prestigious Army National Guard national ranking trophy," said President and Founder Andy Beal. "Coach Whipple and the Irmo Yellow Jackets have proven on the court that they are among the nation's truly elite high school hoops teams. We salute the coach, the young men on the team and Irmo High School for a job well done."

"MaxPreps has been a major contributor to high school sports and it's certainly an honor for them to recognize us. It says a lot about our program and we appreciate the recognition," said Irmo head basketball coach Tim Whipple, who completed his 32nd season.

Irmo was spearheaded by the senior dynamic duo of Justin McKie and Detrek Browning, who formed the Yellow Jackets backcourt. McKie, who will play at the University of South Carolina, averaged 17 points per game to go along with 4 ½ rebounds and three assists. Browning, who will plays for Division II Francis Marion University in Florence, chipped in with 14 points, 3 ½ rebounds, four assists and 3.5 steals. Both players connected on 38 percent of their three-point field goal attempts.

South Carolina Sergeant First Class Shaun Mills presented Coach Whipple and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during an assembly Tuesday afternoon. The team also received a banner for its accomplishments.

"For years, the Army National Guard has recognized nationally ranked basketball teams with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy," said Lieutenant Colonel Christian J. Johnson of the Army National Guard. "We take great pride in doing so because it symbolizes the indomitable spirit common to high school athletes and the U.S. Soldier. It is our honor to share this symbol with the team, coaches, parents, and school. It is an award for the entire community and is much deserved."

MaxPreps uses a sophisticated computer program, known as the Freeman Rankings, to determine team rank for the Tour of Champions. The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents), margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighted 2.1 times a regular season game.

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About Army National Guard

With 375 years of service, the Army National Guard is the largest reserve component, as well as the oldest branch of the U.S. military. In the National Guard, you get the training from us, serve in your own community, and enhance your marketability for the higher paying jobs. We provide our members with money for college and offer attractive benefits on top of paid career training in one of 200 fields. The National Guard has career opportunities in every State and U.S. Territory, more than 3,600 training locations, and more than 350,000 members. Visit the National Guard Web site at
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