Marquis Webber's absence from the Bluffton basketball team isn't going to cost the veteran forward his starting spot. But his backup, Ahdonus Cofer, is doing his best to make the position that much more interesting.
The senior forward -- playing in place of Webber as he attends the North-South All-Star football game -- poured in a game-high and career-high 14 points, and Bluffton notched a 48-33 victory over rival Hilton Head Island High School on Friday night.
"We had a mission today," Cofer said. "We don't have C.J. (Frazier) or Webber, so we came out here and did our thing. That's it."
The Seahawks defense, sagging off Bluffton cuts and getting players down to the rim, allowed Cofer to bury a pair of early 3-pointers to get his team off to a strong start. He added a trio of buckets in the third period that helped the Bobcats keep pace before netting his final field goal on a wide-open basket underneath that put the game away midway through the final period.
"We made shots early, which was good," Bluffton coach Brett Macy said. "(Cofer) was confident. He shot it well."
The Bobcats (2-0) led by just one at the break but put the game out of reach with a 15-5 run midway through the second half as they began to push the ball in transition more effectively. Cofer capped the scoring binge with his easy bucket, which turned what had been a back-and-forth affair with Hilton Head High (2-3) into a 43-31 advantage.
"He was on the team last year, but he didn't do that," Seahawks coach Ken Updike said. "Let's just say that wasn't in the scouting report."
Macy said Cofer's early-season performance -- he tallied 10 points in his first career start Tuesday against Battery Creek -- isn't going to cost a veteran like Webber his starting spot, however.
"He's been around enough, he knows what we're doing," Macy said of Webber. "... I always talk about competition in practice. These guys compete against each other for two hours and then they can be friends afterward. They go after each other."
Cofer acknowledged as much. But he also doesn't plan on giving up just yet, either.
"If he gets it, I'm still going to come off the bench and do my thing," he said. "But in all fairness, I do want to try and start."
Bluffton boys 48, Hilton Head High 33
Bluffton (2-0) -- Ahdonus Cofer 14, Demetrius Smalls 9, B.J. Hill 5, Harlan Kendrick 4, Anthony Smith 3, Jeremy Scott 4, Austin Chittum 3, Jay Middleton 3, Chance Murphy 2
Hilton Head High (2-3) -- Michael Julian 12, Aaron Frazier 6, Jacob Coltrane 4, Craig Ryan 4, James Sanders 3, Matt Pollard 2, Troy Clifford 2
Hilton Head High girls 52, Bluffton 43
Seahawks coach Dave Greenberg didn't initially plan on seeing Zion Campbell in his lineup Friday night against Bluffton.
And yet, three days after spraining her wrist in pregame warmups against Whale Branch, the sophomore tallied a career-high 11 points, six rebounds, five steals and three blocks in a victory over the Bobcats.
"That was a big boost we didn't expect," Greenberg said. "Until yesterday we didn't think she'd be able to play. She said it felt fine and the doctors said it was up to her. So the trainers taped her up and she gave us a huge boost, I thought."
Campbell teamed with Americal Jenkins, who recorded 16 points and 15 rebounds, to lead the way. Sophomore guard Lauryn Bush added 12 points and seven assists while Rachel Friend netted seven points in place of point guard Savannah Reier, who was out with concussion-like symptoms.
Bluffton (0-2) never seriously threatened, as the Seahawks (4-1) jumped out to an early 8-0 lead before seeing their lead balloon to 20 heading into the final quarter. The Bobcats, who were led by Tiffany Banks' 16-point effort, used an 8-0 run early in the final period to trim the final margin to single digits.
The two teams return to action Tuesday, as Hilton Head High travels to Hilton Head Christian Academy while the Bobcats host Whale Branch.
Bluffton (0-2) -- Tiffany Banks 16, Tatyana Fripp 7, Monique Whitley 6, Annidet Giles 6, Autumn Card 2, Amber Klitzsch 2, Johnnie Gaston 2, Diamon Smalls 2
Hilton Head High (4-1) -- Americal Jenkins 16, Lauryn Bush 12, Zion Campbell 11, Rachel Friend 7, Austin Seelbach 4, Macy King 2