Brett Macy spends his time looking for the little things.
The Bluffton High School boys basketball coach doesn't have much of a choice these days if he wants to keep his team's attention. After all, focus can be difficult for a team that's won eight straight games by an average of 25 points like the Bobcats have.
"As long as we find something each and every game, find a motivating factor, those guys will keep their focus," Macy said.
The motivating factor this time around was the recent surge by Berkeley, as the Stags entered Friday night fresh off an upset over preseason region favorite Lake Marion.
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It's safe to say the Bobcats answered the call.
Backed by a strong defensive effort from Dimitri Lowry and a 16-point outburst from Bryson Bell, the Bobcats raced to a 64-38 win over Berkeley to remain atop the Region 7-AAA standings.
"It's hard (to stay focused), but we've got to do it and stick it out," said Lowry, who also added nine first-half points. "We've got three games next week. Hopefully we win all three and come out on top of the region."
It was an impressive win for the Bobcats (17-2, 7-1), as Berkeley (7-14, 3-5) came in backed by a two-game win streak, which included a 69-64 win over Lake Marion.
"They planned on coming down here and winning," Macy said. "You could tell with them walking and talking. This was their game to get back into the thick of things, as far as making it into the playoffs."
The Stags left in frustration, however, largely due to Lowry. The senior was charged with the task of shutting down Stags guard DeVante Cunningham, who averages double figures. Lowry shut him out through most of the first three periods, and he finished with just seven points, most of which came late against the Bobcats' reserves.
"That's a good matchup for Dimitri," Macy said. "He's athletic enough, his size bothers him and he can keep him in front. One thing Cunningham doesn't do well is get open. Dimitri denied him enough that he never went and got the ball."
The Bobcats return to action Tuesday against Battery Creek, which lost to Bluffton by 40 points last month. So what will Macy use as the motivating factor this time?
"Senior night," he said. "That's easy."
Bluffton boys 64, Berkeley 38
Berkeley (7-14, 3-5 Region 7-AAA) -- Matthew Bryant 10, Omaine Thomas 9, DeVante Cunningham 7, Asanti Dantzler 4, Rashaun Hutchinson 4, Justice Rogers 2, Diamonte Harley 1, Kadeem Palmer 1
Bluffton (17-2, 7-1) -- Bryson Bell 16, Dimitri Lowry 9, Jeremy Scott 8, Harlan Kendrick 6, CJ Frazier 5, Michael Grant 4, Marquis Webber 4, Demetrius Smalls 4, BJ Hill 2, Ahdonus Cofer 2, Shawn Epliny 2, Bo Strimpfel 2
Bluffton girls 55, Berkeley 11
Shakeria Kitty isn't mincing any words when it comes to Bluffton's upcoming rematch with Hilton Head Island High School.
The Bobcats' girls basketball standout stood outside the Bluffton locker room Friday night fresh off a 55-11 romp over Berkeley, and yet, it was the rival Seahawks who had most of her attention.
"We're doing everything we can to progress, because when Hilton Head comes, we're going to light it up," Kitty said.
The Seahawks represent the only loss in Region 7-AAA for the Bobcats, who fell in overtime, 47-46, to Hilton Head back on Jan. 24. Bluffton has a three-game winning since then, which continued with the impressive 44-point victory over the Stags in The Den.
"The last game we played was Cane Bay, and we just ran through them," Kitty said. "We're just preparing ourselves (for Hilton Head)."
Bluffton (17-4, 7-1) dominated the Stags from the outset, as the Bobcats scored the game's first 32 points before coasting into halftime with a 39-2 advantage. Berkeley (4-17, 1-7) got its only first-half points from the free throw line and the Stags didn't record their first field goal until just over six minutes remained in the third quarter.
Jennifer Giles once again led Bluffton with 18 points while Kitty and Tibra Wheeler added seven each. The Bobcats face Battery Creek on Tuesday before they travel to Hilton Head on Friday.
"Coach told us we're either going to win by a lot or it's going to be a close game," Kitty said of Bluffton's first tangle with Hilton Head High. "Hopefully, next time, it's going to be us winning by a lot."
Berkeley (4-17, 1-7 Region 7-AAA) -- Donni Robinson 4, Jill Funk 4, Kinsey Shealy 2, Alexx Ravenell 1
Bluffton (17-4, 7-1) -- Jennifer Giles 18, Shakeria Kitty 7, Tibra Wheeler 7, Johnnie Gaston 6, Dynasty Mervin 6, Alex Bailey 4, Amber Klitzsch 4, Annadet Giles 2, Monique Bryant 1