Joe Monmonier didn't hesitate when he was asked whether his Hilton Head Island High School boys lacrosse team was playing its best.
"I think we are," the Seahawks coach said. "We're playing confident. I think before, we had some guys that had some question marks. But hopefully they're coming around."
Things have been smooth sailing of late for Hilton Head High, which won its third straight game Tuesday night against A.C. Flora in the first round of the state playoffs. The Seahawks built a 5-0 advantage midway through the second period before dispatching the Falcons by a 12-1 margin.
"Tonight was really an unexpected blowout," Monmonier said.
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A.C. Flora entered with a 9-4 record but was without the services of three of its captains, who all have been lost to injury in the last two weeks. That showed, as the youthful Falcons were never able to recover after the Seahawks struck with a pair of early goals.
"We came here a little beat up," coach John Hutt said. "We're down quite a few of our starters. Had some less experienced guys on the field."
Senior Nick Bautista led the Seahawks with five goals -- three of which came in the second half -- while sophomore Nate Jones added three more. A quartet of other Seahawks finished with one score apiece.
"We're coming more together as the playoffs are coming together," junior defender Kyle Kirby said. "I think we're getting better."
Hilton Head High (9-4) either will travel to Fort Mill -- last season's state champ -- or host Spring Valley on Thursday.
"I think our best game will be the next three games," Bautista said. "We're just going to keep getting better and better."
A win in the next round likely will mean a date with top-ranked Wando, which knocked out the Seahawks in the Lower State finals two years ago.
Hilton Head High 12, A.C. Flora 1
A.C. Flora (9-5) -- Goals: Hunter Griffin 1
Hilton Head High (9-4) -- Goals: Nick Bautista 5, Nate Jones 3, Will Urbin 1, Ross Lovette 1, Tucker Roberts 1, Brooks Jenkins 1
GIRLS LACROSSE PLAYOFFS
Blythewood 12, Hilton Head High 7: The Seahawks bowed out of the Class 4-A playoff with a road loss.
Elaine Natoli and Carson Kendrick had two goals apiece for Hilton Head High (9-5). Kristen Wartko, Haley Matousek and Nathalie Lezcano also had goals.
Goalkeeper Morgan Raffaele made 16 saves in the Seahawks' net.
Bishop England 13, Bluffton 7: The Bobcats' season ended in the first round of the Class 4-A playoffs at the hands of the Lower State's No. 3 seed. Bluffton's girls finish the season with a 7-7 mark.