The situations were eerily similar.
It was just one season ago that the Hilton Head Island High School girls basketball team closed out its regular season with a heartbreaking loss to Bluffton High School. Three days later, the Seahawks saw their 2011 campaign come to an end with an upset loss at the hands Lakewood.
Fast forward a year and the Seahawks faced the same scenario, as Hilton Head High blew a 12-point, fourth-quarter lead in a loss to the Bobcats last Friday before Socastee came calling Monday night in the first round of the Class 3-A playoffs.
But the Seahawks made sure the outcome would be different this time around.
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Hilton Head High broke a 28-all tie early in the fourth quarter before dominating the final minutes, as the Seahawks claimed a 40-30 win over the visiting Braves in the postseason opener.
"I'm really proud of them," coach Dave Greenberg said. "It's tough to come back from a difficult loss like we had the other day."
Greenberg spent the first five minutes of Sunday's practice dissecting all the little things the Seahawks did wrong in their loss to Bluffton. But from that point on, the focus was on Socastee.
What followed was Hilton Head High's best practice to date, according to Greenberg.
"We talked about that at the beginning and we never brought it up," he recalled. "We said, 'Let's look forward. We have to prepare for this game and that's it.' "
Socastee wasn't going to go down easy, however. The Braves (9-14) battled to a 20-all stalemate at the half and took a two-point lead into the final quarter. They didn't trail until Americal Jenkins' bucket with just over a minute to play in the third but quickly reclaimed the advantage.
But the Seahawks (20-5) dominated from there, outscoring the Braves by 12 over the final eight minutes to claim the 10-point victory. Defense was the point of emphasis for Hilton Head High, as Greenberg switched to a zone press in the final period in order to force more Socastee errors.
"I thought defensively we really made some plays in the fourth quarter," he said. "We really caused some turnovers. ... I thought on the defensive end, we really played with better intensity."
Sabrina Drammis led the Seahawks with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Jamese Franklin grabbed 14 boards. Drammis kept Hilton Head High in the game with 12 first-half points, while her pair of free throws midway through the fourth quarter capped off an 11-0 run by the Seahawks.
The senior knew this was her last chance to earn a playoff victory, and she didn't shy away from that fact after the game was decided.
"It was in the back of my mind. Last year was a tough loss," she said. "We got off to a terrible start and then we came back. We could have had that game. It was nice to actually win a playoff game."
Drammis and the rest of the Seahawks will have a chance to win another playoff game come Thursday, as Hilton Head High will host Marlboro County, a 55-50 winner over AC Flora on Monday, at 6 p.m. in The Nest.
Hilton Head Island High girls 40, Socastee 30
Socastee (9-14) -- Blake Smith 16, Kirstin Zanardo 6, Madison Lowe 4, Katherine Mose 4
Hilton Head High (20-5) -- Sabrina Drammis 16, Americal Jenkins 8, Tashawna Washington 7, Lauryn Bush 5, Jamese Franklin 4
Bluffton 55, North Myrtle Beach 52
Despite second-half struggles, Bluffton was able to hold on to the win over North Myrtle Beach on Monday in the first round of the 3-A girls basketball playoffs.
"The intensity wasn't as great," Bobcats head coach Lonnie Roberts said, "but in the playoffs, you take them wherever you can get them."
Bluffton (20-4) moves on to play the winner of Monday's Crestwood-Chapin matchup. The Bobcats would travel to Crestwood or host Chapin.
After leading by six, 28-22, at the half, Bluffton began losing ground in the second half.
"We weren't getting back on defense, we had blown assignments and they shot the ball pretty well," Roberts said. "Players we expected to be post players were knocking down shots around the perimeter."
The Bobcats also missed the front end of several one-and-one situations down the stretch, keeping the game closer than Roberts would have liked.
"The foul line wasn't our friend, especially in the third and fourth quarter," he said.
Jennifer Giles and Tibra Wheeler led the Bobcats with 16 points apiece, and Shakeria Kitty added 14.
Taylor Allman had a game-high 22 points for North Myrtle Beach. India Farmer added added seven for the Chiefs, who close the season at 17-8.
Myrtle Beach 49, Battery Creek 35
Battery Creek started strong on the road before the Myrtle Beach press served its purpose. And the Seahawks' standout, Class 3-A player of the year Khadijah Sessions, delivered her standard performance to send Myrtle Beach (20-5) to the next round.
Battery Creek (6-15) led after the first, but its season ended after it was outscored 16-2 during the second quarter. Sessions finished with a game-high 29 points.
"They kind of pressed us and basically that was it," Battery Creek coach Bernadette Ulmer said. "We had a few turnovers. We played a pretty good game."
Daisja Cannon scored nine points to lead Battery Creek. Alisha Varela added eight points and Jasmine Wallace scored six.
Ulmer said the Dolphins look forward to spending the summer developing skills. She expects to lose only one player, senior Jasmine Green.