Markell Smalls drove the baseline and slipped a pass into the lane for a barreling Eric Freeman, who rose for a two-handed dunk and turned back up the court after a brief swing on the rim.
The fourth-quarter basket might not have been the deciding blow in the Battery Creek High School boys basketball team's 52-42 win over Beaufort High School on Friday. But the play might have helped release some frustration the Dolphins have let build when playing their rivals.
"We're happy, it was a great win," said Freeman, who finished with 12 points. "We've been practicing hard every week trying to get better and better."
Battery Creek won in the series for the first time since January 2011, during coach Antoine Youmans' first season.
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Beaufort High swept the season series in 2011-12 and 2012-13. And after Youmans watched Beaufort High dismantle Estill on Monday, some of the doubt might have returned.
But Battery Creek overcame a six-point halftime deficit with its zone defense, outscoring Beaufort High 15-6 during the third quarter. And with the visitors struggling to consistently hit outside looks against the zone, Battery Creek capitalized with hustle plays.
A 9-0 run during that third quarter helped the Dolphins establish control.
"The guys never quit," Youmans said. "They paid attention and listened to the game plan. They just carried it out -- effort and execution is what did it."
Youmans committed to the zone after watching the early flow of the game. He wanted to help neutralize Beaufort High guards Adonis Grant and Jawan Mack. And while roaming forward Kendrick Colvin still created matchup problems, Youmans felt the Dolphins delivered.
The teams get another shot at each other Dec. 21. Beaufort High coach Bruce Beasley was confident the Eagles would be ready for Saturday's road game at Hilton Head Island High School.
"They out-played us every facet of the game, quarters 2, 3 and 4," Beasley said. "They deserved to win tonight."
He told his players after a loss to Whale Branch Early College High School the previous week they would have to come down from the emotional high and prepare for another high-intensity game.
Players jawed at each other at times Friday, and a scuffle broke out after an intentional foul call on Beaufort High in the final seconds. Coaches stepped in quickly to maintain order.
Battery Creek boys 52, Beaufort High 42
Beaufort High (3-1) --Kendrick Colvin 17, Jawan Mack 8, Darryl Owens 6, Adonis Grant 5, Lamont Fripp 4, Devin Stedman 2
Battery Creek (3-1) -- Devonte Wilson 14, Eric Freeman 12, Christian Brown 9, Jason Green 8, Jeffery Darden 3, Yuneek Crittendon 2, Miguel Crawley 2, Markell Smalls 2
Battery Creek girls 62, Beaufort High 17
The Battery Creek girls aced their final tuneup before region play.
The Dolphins raced past rival Beaufort High behind speedy guard Daisja Cannon, who finished with a game-high 17 points.
The victory leads the Dolphins into their Region 6-AA schedule. They next go to Garrett Academy Tech.
"We just wanted to play together, work hard and make sure we run our offense," Battery Creek coach Bernadette Ulmer said.
Battery Creek never had to sweat Friday, leading 26-7 after the first quarter and holding the Eagles to two points during the second and third quarters.
Ulmer said the Dolphins are playing more man defense this year than they have in the past.
Ulmer returned to the bench recently after battling pneumonia and having to be admitted to Medical University of South Carolina. She was on the bench for Battery Creek's loss at Whale Branch, but did not direct the action. She said Friday she was almost back to full strength.
Beaufort High (2-2) -- Aaliyah Smalls 7, Mattie Hibbs 5, Monique Jones 4, Naijuia Moyd 1
Battery Creek (2-2) -- Daisja Cannon 17, Taniqua Mungin 14, Deja Moultrie 9, Ericka Alston 7, Brianna Tolbert 7, Maty Dearsman 6, Shanice Pusha-Powell 2