Trailing Sumter by three with six minutes remaining Saturday night on the road, the Bluffton Bobcats were held without a field goal for the next five minutes and fell, 61-47, in the second round of the boys Class 4-A playoffs.
According to coach Brett Macy, the Bobcats (14-9) struggled offensively against a " big long athletic team that pressed."
"We didn't shoot it well, and a lot of that was their athleticism," Macy said. "It was a tough night in general but an emotional night, particularly for our seniors. They've had a good run over the past four years."
Macy said his team competed well in its first season in 4-A, and getting a playoff game at home was a sign of their hard work.
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"They played extremely hard and played really well against a good team tonight," Macy said. "We hung in there and fought. They outlasted us. It was a good game and a good season."
SCISAA BOYS 3-A PLAYOFFS
Northwood Academy 63, Hilton Head Prep 50: After falling behind by as many as 15 points, the Dolphins fought back to within one Saturday at Porter-Gaud but were never able to get over the hump.
With six minutes remaining, Hilton Head Prep (14-13) cut the lead to 1 and had the ball but couldn't take the lead. With four minutes left, they were within four with the ball and floundered.
According to coach Jerry Faulkner, the Dolphins missed a good shot in the first situation and turned the ball over in the second. Northwood hit its free throws down the stretch to expand the lead.
"I'm very proud of our young men," said Faulkner, who was noncommittal about his return next season. "They represented the school well all year in every capacity. They were playing for their third coach in three years and they did a very good job adjusting."
Randy Young led the Dolphins with 18 points, while Sam McCracken scored 14.
Tom Major led Northwood with 27.
Hilton Head Prep's lone senior, point guard Charlie Wilmot (broken hand), didn't play.
"I'm extremely proud of our comeback," Faulkner said. We got behind by 15 early and could have folded but didn't. We had a good shot to take the lead, we just didn't hit it.
"All you can ask is that your kids put in the effort, and they did, all year."
SCISAA BOYS 2-A PLAYOFFS
King's Academy 43, Beaufort Academy 35: Beaufort Academy took a brief lead, 26-25, in the third quarter but was outscored 18-9 the rest of the way and eliminated from the playoffs Saturday at Wilson Hall.
KIng's Academy jumped out to an early 15-2 lead, sparked by Christopher Dean's three 3-pointers in the game's first three minutes.
"They jumped all over us," Beaufort Academy coach Chip Dinkins said.
The Eagles (8-15) trailed 22-11 at the half before coming on strong in the third quarter. The game was tied at 26 entering the fourth quarter, but King's outscored BA 17-9 in the final frame.
"We played pretty well, but the buckets didn't come as easily in the fourth as they did in the third quarter, and they hit some key buckets down the stretch."
Conner Akers led the Eagles with 11 points. Finn Koppernaes added 10, and Charles Sanford scored nine.
Christopher Dean led King's Academy with 15.
Oakbrook Prep 101, Thomas Heyward Academy 37: The Rebels' season came to an end Saturday against Oakbrook Prep at Heathwood Hall.
"They're an extremely good basketball team," Thomas Heyward coach Buzz Bonds said of the second-seeded Knights.
Dillon Tillotson led Thomas Heyward with nine, while J.D. Tuten added eight.
Reggie Stoddard led the Knights with 24.
"I'm pleased with the team considering we didn't have four of our six returning seniors come back to play," Bonds said. "I think it was a success that we made the state playoffs. We only lose two seniors. It was pretty good year."