Kendrick Colvin passed time by himself during practice Wednesday wearing brown slip-on shoes and gray Nike socks to go with his black knee brace.
The shoes contrasted with the highlighter-yellow Nikes his teammates on the Beaufort High School boys basketball team wore -- until he slipped on his own pair to shoot around at the end of practice.
Colvin, the Eagles' leading scorer, has been forced to do his own thing since suffering a knee injury late during a victory over Bluffton High School on Jan. 28. He practiced Tuesday but tweaked the knee and was held out Wednesday.
Beaufort High (18-5, 6-4 Region 8-AAAA), which dropped three of its final five games without Colvin in the lineup, considers its team a dangerous No. 4 seed as it travels to Region 7 champion Wando on Thursday to open the Class 4-A playoffs. A lot might depend on Colvin's tender knee and how effective the senior can be during his return.
"It was hurting a little bit today; it was hurting in school when I was walking on it," Colvin said. "It should be all right tomorrow."
Beaufort High coach Bruce Beasley said he would "have to play it by ear and see how much he can give us."
Bluffton, which snagged the second seed from Beaufort High during the final game of the regular season, plays host to Blythewood. Region 6-AA champion Ridgeland-Hardeeville hosts Silver Bluff, and No. 2 seed Battery Creek will play Wade Hampton in the Palace. Military Magnet travels to Region 5-A champion Whale Branch.
Beasley feels like his team also should have been a first-round host. But he prepared the Eagles this week for their role as underdog.
He told players Wednesday to let the fear of losing motivate them. He reminded them that three years ago against North Augusta, when Beaufort High owned the top seed, the Yellow Jackets came in and shocked the home team.
Beaufort High played a watered-down game with Wando during the summer and watched video of the Warriors playing Stratford.
The Eagles feel like their edge could come from the speed of their guards, with juniors Adonis Grant and Jawan Mack hoping to penetrate and kick to an open shooter or find a path to the basket.
"They're kind of big and tall, but slow," Grant said.
Beasley said Wando does well in its 2-3 zone and owns a size advantage. He wants patience on offense and a commitment to rebounding.
"Wando is probably the best team I've seen this year," Beasley said. "They'll definitely be the best team we have played all year."
BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS
Thursday, first round
Class 4-A: No. 3 Blythewood at No. 2 Bluffton, 7 p.m.
Class 4-A: No. 4 Beaufort High at No. 1 Wando, 7 p.m.
Class 2-A: No. 4 Silver Bluff at No. 1 Ridgeland-Hardeeville, 7 p.m.
Class 2-A: No. 3 Wade Hampton at No. 3 Battery Creek, 7:30 p.m.
Class 1-A: No. 4 Military Magnet at No. 1 Whale Branch, 7:30 p.m.