The Fort Dorchester boys basketball team was absent its style during the first half Friday night at Beaufort High School.
Fast and opportunistic, the Patriots like to run and force the pace with defensive pressure. Beaufort High set the pace early.
Fort Dorchester grabbed control when it mattered.
"Hammer," is what the Patriots call their full-court pressure, and they brought it down in the second half Friday, winning 69-59.
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"We wanted to keep up the pressure, stay Hammer the whole game," Patriots forward Baptiste Staggers said. "We run up and down the floor the whole game. That's how we do it."
Beaufort High led by eight at the half but was outscored 23-7 during the third quarter, including a 15-0 Patriots run.
"When they went up-tempo, we could not match their speed and intensity," Beaufort High coach Bruce Beasley said. "Defensively, we couldn't keep them out of the paint."
Fort Dorchester's Ronald Johnson was responsible for a lot of those points in the paint. He led all scorers with 22 points. Teammate Eric Hayward, who got in the paint and hit from outside, scored 17.
Beasley wanted to utilize his inside game, and post Anthony White scored 14 points. But after falling behind during the second half, and with the Patriots' switch to a smaller lineup, the Eagles had to force the issue.
Kendrick Colvin led Beaufort High with 15 points, throwing down a pair of dunks off lobs from Keion Marshall.
The strongest moments, though, were offset by Fort Dorchester runs on the other end.
Beaufort High fell to 2-4 in Region 8-AAAA, behind four other teams with four region games remaining. The Eagles have struggled at times this season to maintain their momentum from the second half.
Beasley said slow starts offensively have hurt, but that Fort Dorchester out-manned Beaufort High on Friday.
"Their speed and their quickness, we couldn't compensate for that," Beasley said.
Fort Dorchester boys 69, Beaufort High 59
Fort Dorchester (11-9, 3-3 Region 8-AAAA-- Ronald Johnson 22, Eric Hayward 17, Damariek Moorer 12, Baptiste Staggers 9, Wayne Chisolm 4, Thad Middleton 3, William Munoz 2.
Beaufort High (11-6, 2-4)-- Kendrick Colvin 15, Anthony White 14, Thomas Parker 6, Otis McClain 5, Keion Marshall 5, Shykeem Gardener 2.
Fort Dorchester girls 48, Beaufort High 32
The Patriots denied Beaufort High its first region win with a series of runs each time the Eagles tried to rally.
Beaufort High, which slipped to 0-6 in Region 8-AAAA, pulled within four points early in the fourth quarter on a pair of Mattie Hibbs free throws. The Patriots outscored the Eagles 19-7 the rest of the way, including a 9-0 run.
Beaufort High coaches told players after the game to not give up the final two weeks of the season.
"Keep at it," coach Lillian Keeler Aldred said she told her team. "Let's have some fun with this and see if you can't upset somebody."
She thought the opportunity was there Friday. The Patriots are also struggling, entering Friday with only one region victory -- against Beaufort High earlier this month.
That was only a 13-point game, and Aldred prepared the Eagles for the Patriots' pressure and traps. Beaufort High held Fort Dorchester without a field goal during the third quarter while trimming the lead to six.
"We knew this was a team we could play with," Aldred said. "We beat them in the third quarter, we just couldn't keep that momentum."
Fort Dorchester-- Erica Cobbs 12, Briana Chisolm 10, Territa Jones 7, London Sharper 5, Leah Robinson 4, Shamari Jones 4, Desire Evans 2.
Beaufort High (1-17, 0-6)-- Mattie Hibbs 14, Jordan Fields 6, Cam Simmons 4, Jasmine Wallace 2, Monique Jones 2, Kaitlyn Hamilton 2, Regina Bolden 1, Jaia Johnson 1.