Dave Greenberg had a difficult time being frustrated with his Hilton Head Island High School girls basketball team Thursday night.
"If you told me at the beginning on the year that we'd be region champs, win 20 games and make it to the second round of the playoffs, I'd be pretty happy with this group," the Seahawks coach said.
Greenberg reiterated that fact to his team in the aftermath of the Seahawks' final game of the season -- a 41-27 loss to visiting Marlboro County in the second round of the Class 3-A playoffs.
"I would have loved to go one more round," Greenberg said. "But realistically, that's a pretty good team. They're much more balanced, a lot more skilled than we are. A lot more athletic, a lot bigger. It would have been a major upset."
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Greenberg's group entered this season with its fair share of question marks. The Seahawks were without last year's leading scorer -- Margo Dill -- and were also looking for a replacement for point guard Sara Manesiotis.
But Hilton Head High responded. The girls reeled off their second straight Region 7-AAA title, won 20 games in consecutive seasons for the first time and grabbed a playoff victory over Socastee on Monday night.
"A lot of people didn't think we'd do as well as we did," senior guard Sabrina Drammis said. "Going in, I knew I was going to work and the team was going to work. We wanted that region championship, so we're happy we were able to get that. That was our goal as a team, even though some people didn't think that was possible."
Hilton Head High (20-6) got off to a fast start defensively against the Bulldogs, but the offense proved its downfall. The Seahawks held a 5-0 lead after the first quarter but watched as Marlboro County (20-4) kicked off the second with a 10-0 run en route to a 17-7 halftime advantage.
"The one chance we had was to get out of the gate quick before they realized how much better they were than us," Greenberg said. "We didn't do that. We missed shots."
Drammis -- the Seahawks' leading scorer this season -- felt as though Hilton Head High played afraid against the big, athletic Bulldogs. The senior guard finished with just seven points after entering averaging 15.8.
"I think we played a little bit scared," she said. "We weren't taking it to the hole. Instead I was trying to pull up and I wasn't hitting them."
The Seahawks had open looks against the Bulldogs' man-to-man defense in the first quarter but were unable to knock down their shots. Once Marlboro County switched to a zone look, the open looks became harder to come by.
That allowed the Bulldogs to hold Hilton Head High at bay, as Marlboro County outscored the Seahawks by just four over the final 16 minutes to secure the 14-point victory.
Nikkei Blackburn led all scorers with 19 points while freshman guard Lauryn Bush paced the Seahawks with 10.
"I didn't really think that they were better than us," Drammis said. "The first quarter we were holding down on defense. I felt in the half court, we were strong enough to contain them. But we kept letting them get fast breaks.
"On offense, we just weren't there tonight."
Marlboro County 41, Hilton Head High 27
Marlboro County (20-4) - Nikkei Blackburn 19, Dana Moore 8, Rasheda Patterson 7, Rakell Shaw 6, Kadeja Bridges 1
Hilton Head High (20-5) - Lauryn Bush 10, Sabrina Drammis 7, Macy King 6, Jamese Franklin 4