Adonis Grant thinks this Beaufort High School boys basketball team might be more focused than it has in the past -- less joking around, better listening.
The junior guard said the Eagles look to leaders such as teammate Lamont Fripp to help keep them in line.
That doesn't mean the Eagles won't have fun.
The mood stayed light Thursday on Kirkland Court, with Beaufort High defeating Burke 53-38 to open the season. Everyone for Beaufort High played against the Class 2-A Bulldogs.
"We came out pumped, had a lot of energy and played as a team," Grant said.
The Beaufort High student section, dubbed the "Kirkland Krazies," was dressed in white -- except for those painted -- and treated to several highlight-reel plays. Senior Kendrick Colvin's dunk on a Burke defender from the low block midway through the third quarter pushed Beaufort High's lead to 41-17.
Beaufort High coach Bruce Beasley was able to reach deep on his bench for much of the second half.
Beasley said the Eagles will need to recognize their roles moving forward and that the bench would shrink against a tougher opponent. But for one night, at least, he was able to take stock of all he has available.
Beasley said the Eagles would need to improve their consistency and offensive rebounding.
"I thought at times we played at a very high level," Beasley said. "At times, I thought our play was sub-par. I was pleased with our effort, energy and intensity."
The young Bulldogs did not have the size match Beaufort High and struggled at times against the Eagles' zone. Burke coach Deon Richardson said Beaufort High's up-tempo style should help the Bulldogs prepare for Region 6-AA.
"They're long, they're a big team, seasoned team," Richardson said. "We're a young team, freshmen guards. But we'll get better."
Beaufort High boys 53, Burke 38
Beaufort High (1-0) -- Kendrick Colvin 13, Adonis Grant 12, Darrell Owens 8, Jawan Mack 7, Carlton Johnson 6, Ray Hampton 5, Lamont Fripp 2
Burke (1-1) -- Ishmael Evans 14, Stephon Taylor 7, Sidney Robinson 5, Derrell Harley 4, Adonicas Sanders 4, Antonio Godfrey 3
Beaufort High girls 44, Burke 37
The Beaufort High girls basketball team had felt the sting of losing so long, it wasn't quite sure how to handle a big lead to start the second half.
But the Eagles settled to close out Burke, opening the season with a victory and matching their win total from a tough 2012-13 season. First-year coach Reginald Jones kept Beaufort High in a full-court press after made baskets and forced the Bulldogs into a hurried pace.
Jones, also a coach on the Eagles track team, said many of his girls are also track athletes and could handle playing the length of the floor much of the game.
"I'm going to do it all game, every game," Jones said. "We've got to. One of our disadvantages is we don't have a lot of height, so we've got to try to use a lot of speed."
After building a 28-14 lead at the half, the Eagles rushed their offense, went scoreless for more than three minutes and were held to five points during the third quarter.
But after the Bulldogs had pulled within six early in the fourth quarter, Beaufort High used a 7-1 run to help close the victory.
During the first half, the Eagles' press served its purpose. After a Jones' timeout with 1:22 left in the first quarter, the Eagles scored 13 of the next 15 points, the baskets allowing them to set up pressure. Burke went a 6:06 stretch during the second quarter without a point.
"We got undisciplined in the second half," Jones said. "And that's one thing we're going to have to take care of come Saturday. We had too many turnovers, too many mistakes, and we've got to watch the clock.
Beaufort High (1-0) -- Naijuia Moyd 12, Jasmine Wallace 10, Mattie Hibbs 8, Amber Britton 6, Monique Jones 4, Aaliyah Smalls 3, Bre Howard 1
Burke (0-2) -- Chantel Brighten 13, Treshana Meyers 7, Makeeda Smalls 6, Suvonnah Harrison 4, Chadea Kelly 3, Algernique Whitley 2, Vashti Gathers 2
Follow reporter Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen