Seahawks hitting the road in 3-A girls basketball playoffs

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 25, 2014 

So long to The Nest.

The Hilton Head Island High School girls basketball team will board a bus Tuesday for the first time during these 3-A playoffs, traveling to Sumter for a third-round meeting with Crestwood at 7 p.m.. The Seahawks, as deep as they have been in the playoffs in more than 20 years, earned a No. 2 seed and a first-round home game and stayed at home after Darlington upset Airport in the opening round.

Now comes the road and the trickiness of trying to ensure players are ready to go when they take an unfamiliar floor.

"If you come up with a surefire method, let me know," Seahawks coach Dave Greenberg said. "It's just tough."

What Greenberg knows is that a flat team can be susceptible to fast-break points and big runs for the home team. Momentum can build and the game get out of hand quickly, as it did at North Myrtle Beach in the second round last year.

Hilton Head High wants to force halfcourt possessions on defense, try to control the pace and hope to manage the Knights' scorers in a contained setting.

Crestwood will be the best team the Seahawks have faced in these playoffs. The Knights are 23-4 and swept through Region 6 to finish 10-0.

The region schedule included defeating Darlington twice, both times by bigger margins than the Seahawks defeated the Falcons in the second round.

Greenberg said Tiffany Banks has led the Seahawks' defense in disrupting what other teams have tried to do.

Hilton Head High's two playoff opponents combined for 59 points. The Seahawks ran off Darlington with a 20-6 run and forced 20 turnovers against North Myrtle Beach.

The key will be forcing the Knights into halfcourt sets.

"If you turn the ball over, you don't defend against those kind of plays, you just chase them," Greenberg said.

On offense, Greenberg has been pleased with the scoring balance.

Forward Americal Jenkins, who was announced Monday as an all-state selection, averages 12.9 points per game and Lauryn Bush is at 10.2. Then the Seahawks have three players around seven points -- Banks, Savannah Reier and Rachel Friend.

"They're not worried about who scores," Greenberg said. "They have the skills to score. The reason (that level of balance) usually doesn't happen is the kids arent skilled enough to make shots. They all have the skill."

Tuesday's playoff schedule

Class 2-A girls: Battery Creek at Bishop England, 7 p.m.

Class 3-A girls: Hilton Head Island at Crestwood, 6 p.m.

SCISAA Class 3-A girls: Hilton Head Christian vs. Laurence Manning, at Sumter Civic Center, 3:30 p.m.

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