As Summerville boys basketball coach Greg Elliott prepared to slip away from the Beaufort High School gymnasium on Tuesday, he acknowledged what might have been obvious to those who watched the key Region 8-AAAA matchup.
If the Eagles' leading scorer had been in a game jersey, the outcome might have been different. But Kendrick Colvin, Beaufort High's rangy senior, sat with the coaches in street clothes and a crutch to stabilize the left knee he sprained during Saturday's victory against Bluffton.
The Green Wave held off a late charge to defeat Beaufort High, 52-47, earning a big road win and creating some separation in the race to the region title.
"I said if the Dorchester schools win at Bluffton or Beaufort, they'll win (region); if they win at Fort D or our place, they're going to win it," Elliott said. "So it's the road warriors."
The Eagles had enjoyed their home advantage. They were 13-0 at Beaufort High before Tuesday and had just handed Bluffton its first region loss.
But Colvin, in the air for a layup during the fourth quarter of that win, came down awkwardly and sprained the knee. He said Tuesday he hopes to be back in under two weeks for the trip to Bluffton to close the regular season.
Eagles coach Bruce Beasley said there was little time to adjust to a rotation without Colvin but didn't pin Tuesday's result on the absence of his senior.
"We had our chances," Beasley said.
But Beaufort High's chance at the region title, with three league games remaining, is fading. Summerville and Bluffton each have only one loss in Region 8.
The Green Wave had led most of the way, driving to the basket and either earning trips to the free throw line or dropping off passes for Christian Kalacnic driving on the baseline. Summerville finished 17 of 26 from the line. The Eagles made six of their 14 attempts.
Beaufort High trailed by eight entering the final quarter but gained momentum with a technical foul on Elliott and Carlton Johnson's three-point play with 4:09 remaining.
The Eagles pulled within 48-47 on Adonis Grant's driving layup at 1:07, but Summerville snagged a loose ball at midcourt on the next possession and turned it into a three-point play in transition. Beaufort High could not connect on ensuing 3-pointers.
"At times we had that intensity," Beasley said. "At other times I thought we were lackadaisical. In the end, when we had to play, I thought we put ourselves in position."
Summerville boys 52, Beaufort High boys 47
Summerville (15-5, 5-1) -- Christian Kalacanic 17, John Jenkins 17, Timmy Singleton 6, Braylon Wilkerson 6, Tyler Palmer 3, Xavier Robinson 3
Beaufort High (16-4, 4-3) -- Carlton Johnson 14, Jawan Mack 10, Otis McClain 8, Adonis Grant 7, Devin Stedman 6, Marlon Gray 2
Summerville girls 64, Beaufort High 33
The Beaufort High girls basketball team has taken on a light demeanor despite a tough start to the Region 8-AAAA schedule.
This included coach Reggie Jones participating in a recent practice, drawing laughs from his players. The tough season continued Tuesday against the No. 7 Green Wave, but Jones said the Eagles were in good spirits and competing while building for future seasons.
Early on, Beaufort High was driving to the basket for easy scoring opportunities. The Eagles trailed by only two after the first eight minutes.
But the Eagles fell into shooting jump shots and were outscored 16-2 in the second quarter. Summerville pulled away to improve to 6-0 in region play.
"Nobody's given up," Jones said. "They're having fun."
Summerville (14-4, 6-0 Region 8-AAAA) -- Zuri Green 12, Rodnesha Capers 9, Gabrielle Stewart 9, Heather Chapman 8, Chelsi Anderson 7, Dalexis Aldridge 7, Cierra Ketchel 4, Cierra Mazyk 4, Kyania Howard 2, Meredith Harley 2
Beaufort High (4-15, 0-6) -- Naijuia Moyd 13, Mattie Hibbs 5, Kaitlyn Hamilton 4, Amber Britton 4, Bre-Anna Heyward-White 2, Monique Jones 2, Jaia Johnson 2, Regina Bolden 1