High School Basketball

Bobcat Classic: Battery Creek stops host Bluffton in OT

Dolphins' Yuneek Crittendon leads all scorers with 25

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comDecember 28, 2012 

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Battery Creek's Yuneek Crittendon tries to block Bluffton High's B.J. Hill on Thursday night in the first half of the game during the Bobcat Classic at Bluffton High School.

SARAH WELLIVER — SARAH WELLIVER/The Island Packet

Bluffton High School boys basketball coach Brett Macy motioned to his white board in the auxiliary gym after everyone had gone.

Yuneek Crittendon's name wasn't on it. The Battery Creek High School guard had not registered the first time the Dolphins played the Bobcats, wasn't on Macy's radar.

Crittendon introduced himself with a fast start and a strong closing act Thursday to open the Bobcat Classic, helping Battery Creek to a 52-45 overtime victory that sent host Bluffton to the consolation bracket. Battery Creek advances to play Ridgeland-Hardeeville today at 7:30 p.m. in the boys tournament semifinal.

Crittendon led all scorers with 25 points. His four 3-pointers in the first half helped Battery Creek jump to an early lead. Macy countered with extra attention from point guard Jeremy Scott, and Crittendon was held to a field goal during the second half.

But he broke free again during overtime, scoring seven points during the final four minutes.

"They tried to get physical with him, but Yuneek is not one of those players you have to get fired up," Battery Creek coach Antoine Youmans said. "You go at him, and he'll come back even harder. That's his personality. He's the fire on our team."

Battery Creek avenged a 15-point loss at Bluffton from early in December, receiving a big contribution from Devontae Wilson, who added 14 points, including a tip-in in the final minute to send the game to overtime.

Youmans said the Dolphins missed too many free throws during the first game at Bluffton and were able to convert from the line late in Thursday's victory. The game helped erase the sting of a big loss to Whale Branch before Christmas break.

The Dolphins were without starter Raheem Cooper on Thursday but received contributions from their bench.

"We closed out pretty well, did everything right and came out with the 'W,'" Wilson said. "...We have a lot of hustle men. Our guards are hustle men and can get physical in the hole."

Bluffton had a chance to win in regulation, crafting a nifty play for guard B.J. Hill, who drew a foul with seven seconds left. Hill couldn't convert on the line, and Battery Creek failed to get a clean look before time expired.

Bluffton dropped to 4-2, its other loss to Whale Branch. In both games, Macy felt his team lacked energy and couldn't match the effort of a county opponent fired up to beat the Bobcats.

Wilson said the Dolphins felt slighted by the tournament draw, that Bluffton scheduled the Dolphins and expected to coast into the second round.

"We had to show them what's up," he said.

Macy said the Bobcats are drawing extra attention after their success last season and that his players need to match the intensity.

"I told our guys we can win a lot of games," Macy said. "But we don't have a lot of great players just to show up and expect to win."

Thursday's results

Boys

Alter (Ohio) 67, Groves (Ga.) 30

BrewBaker Tech (Ala.) 86, McIntosh County (Ga.) 74

Ridgeland-Hardeeville 69, Fisher Catholic (Ohio) 49

Battery Creek 52, Bluffton 45

Girls

Frankfort (Ky.) 54, Glynn Academy (Ga.) 32

BrewBaker Tech 65, Ridgeland-Hardeeville 37

Frederick Douglass (Ga.) 50, Whale Branch 40

Bluffton 66, Harvest Community (Fla.) 19

Friday's games

All games at Bluffton High School

Boys championship bracket

BrewBaker Tech vs. Alter, 10:30 a.m.

Battery Creek vs. Ridgeland-Hardeeville, 7:30 p.m.

Boys consolation bracket

Groves vs. McIntosh, 1:30 p.m.

Bluffton vs. Fisher, 4:30 p.m.

Girls championship bracket

BrewBaker Tech vs,. Frankfort, noon

Bluffton vs. Frederick Douglass, 6 p.m.

Girls consolation bracket

Ridgeland-Hardeeville vs. Glynn Academy, 9 a.m.

Whale Branch vs. Harvest Community, 3 p.m.

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