Maybe it's too early in the region schedule to assign critical points to the timeline, but the start of the fourth quarter Friday might have been pivotal in the Beaufort High School boys basketball team's season.
Up big early and locked in a fight throughout the third quarter, the Eagles needed a strong quarter to finish off Summerville at home, end a losing streak and enter the tussle for Region 8-AAAA.
But free throws squashed momentum, as the Green Wave stayed on the line during the final quarter, and Beaufort High couldn't overcome a scoreless drought, falling 58-53.
Beaufort High dropped its fourth consecutive game since returning from the holiday break and is 0-2 to start the region schedule. But this one felt different -- at least early. The intensity favored the Eagles from the tip. They led by as many as 14 during the first half.
Summerville settled in, cut the lead to four at the half and rode free throws the rest of the way. Beaufort High coach Bruce Beasley paced the auxiliary gym outside his team's locker room and fumed about the discrepancy of the free throw numbers. Summerville was 28 for 37 at the line. Beaufort High made six of 10.
"I wish the playing field would be level," Beasley said. "Whether (free throws) determined the outcome, I'm not going to say that."
Summerville made 13 free throws during the final quarter, starting on a 7-0 run -- all on free throws. Kendrick Colvin, back in the lineup this week after visiting family during the break, converted a three-point play and drilled consecutive 3-pointers to bring the Eagles within a point.
"We were expecting high intensity," forward John Jenkins said. "They lost three straight. We knew they were going to hit big shots, and they did."
Summerville maintained separation at the line. The Green Wave entered the game shooting 67 percent from the stripe, coach Greg Elliott said, and the team shoots and charts free throws each practice.
Summerville boys 58, Beaufort High 53
Summerville (12-4, 2-0 Region 8-AAAA) -- John Jenkins 25, Brandon Wilkerson 14, Timmy Singleton 7, Chris McKinnon 6, Christian Kalcanic 4, Xavier Robinson 2.
Beaufort High (9-5, 0-2) -- Kendrick Colvin 16, Adonis Grant 8, Otis McClain 7, Lamont Fripp 7, Thomas Parker 5, Jawan Mack 5, Keion Marshall 3, Michael Dickson 2.
Summerville girls 49, Beaufort High 24
The momentum slowed for Beaufort High's girls again Friday.
After a strong start and early lead, the Eagles went cold to drop their second straight to open Region 8-AAAA play. Beaufort High led 11-8 after the first quarter but was held to 13 points the rest of the way.
Beaufort High coach Lillian Keeler Aldred said the Eagles knew to expect Summerville's full-court man pressure and that the Green Wave were riding high after opening region play by defeating Colleton County, a top-10 team in Class 4-A.
Aldred said coaches talked at halftime about limiting turnovers, but then the Green Wave jumped on the Eagles to start the second half.
"The good news is, the teams we've played are beatable," said Aldred. "These girls need to believe in themselves."
Three Green Wave players finished in double figures.
Jordan Fields again led the Eagles in scoring, with 11 points.
Summerville (11-5, 2-0 Region 8-AAAA)-- Kwanza Murray 15, Zuri Green 11, Heather Chapman 11, Chelsi Anderson 6, Tihara Brown 5, Gabrielle Stewart 1.
Beaufort High (1-13, 0-2)-- Jordan Fields 11, Kaitlyn Hamilton 4, Mattie Hibbs 2, Monique Jones 2, Regina Bolden 2, Cameron Simmons 2, Aliyah Small 1.