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Prior to the start of the 2011-12 high school basketball season, Lancaster High School junior star Sindarius Thornwell was named in the Elite 5 boys players by the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association.
Thornwell, a 6-5 guard-forward, proved to be that and more as he was recently named the Class AAAA boys Player of the Year by the SCBCA.
“That’s quite an honor, one that is most deserving for Sindarius,” LHS boys basketball coach Ricardo Priester said. “Sindarius can do so much, hitting the jumper or drive inside and make a tough basket. He’s been a key performer for us this season.”
Thornwell, regarded as the state’s top junior player, is averaging 26 points and nine rebounds a game this season.
Earlier this season, Thornwell broke the Bruins’ single-game scoring mark with 47 points to pace LHS to a 90-49 road win over the Chester Cyclones.
Thornwell’s 47-point effort – 22 first half points and 25 second-half points, smashed the old mark held by former Bruins’ star Shot Hood.
Hood, who played from 1978-80, set the mark in the Bruins’ 1980 regular-season finale when he hit 44 points in an 88-63 region home win over Chester.
Thornwell has a variety of shots and moves, from driving and twisting layups, thunderous dunks and long three-point shots.
“Sindarius’ honor is outstanding recognition for our basketball program,” said LHS assistant coach Jerron Cauthen. “Sindarius has been terrific for us this season. He’s been steady in his play all season.
“We’re extremely proud of him and I’m sure Sindarius would say his teammates have played a key role in his success.”
Thornwell, an all-region pick as a sophomore, averaged 20 points and eight rebounds a game last season for the Bruins, who were 20-7 and advanced to the Class AAAA Upper State semifinals before falling to Dorman High School of Spartanburg.
The 23-3 Bruins advanced to round two in the Class AAAA Upper State tournament after rolling over Westside High School of Anderson, 72-42 on Wednesday night.
LHS faced Wren High of Piedmont in the second round of the Class AAAA Upper State boys basketball playoffs on Saturday.
Thornwell was one of several area players honored by the SCBCA.
Great Falls High School’s Xavier Holms and Shaquille Mitchell of Baptist Hill were named Class A Co-Players of the Year. Holmes’ GFHS coach is Lancaster native John Smith.
Class AA all-state picks included Buford High School’s Marcus Brown and Indian Land’s Hayden Sawyer, who was also named the Region IV-AA Player of the Year.
Andrew Jackson High’s Bre Wright was selected to the Class AA girls all-state basketball team.
Contact sports editor Robert Howey at 283-1157