Antoine Youmans called it a matter of principle, to take action against players whose interests didn't align with those of the team.
The Battery Creek boys basketball coach already had lost his leading scorer and senior point guard, Javari Albergottie, before the winter break. He suspended more players after the new year for violating team rules. And so a team that started the season with numerous fresh faces was almost unrecognizable Friday at Beaufort High School.
What's worse, the Dolphins already had been stomped by their rivals at home.
But Youmans doesn't want to talk about the guys who didn't dress Friday. He wants to talk about guys like Michael Robinson, a junior who at one point this season was "almost ninth on the bench."
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Robinson scored the go-ahead basket Friday, a driving layup in overtime, to shock Beaufort High and lift the Dolphins to a 61-58 victory on the road.
"It starts right now," Robinson said. "The rest of the season starts right now."
Robinson finished with a game-high 19 points, a performance that followed a 17-point effort during a loss to Wade Hampton earlier in the week. He has taken Albergottie's place as floor general, a move that began at the end of the rivals' first meeting, when Robinson came off the bench to score six points during garbage time.
The points seemingly meant little then, during the Dolphins' 29-point defeat, but the plan was hatched to let Robinson run the offense. The circumstances that followed were coincidental.
Joining Robinson in keying the upset Friday was B.J. Garvin, a senior who chipped in 14 points. Terrell McWilliams, a transfer in his first season as a Dolphin, helped control the glass and added eight points.
And then there were the youngsters, call-ups from the junior varsity squad whose names Youmans could not recall during the excitement following the game. When they were on the floor, everyone could tell. But they did their jobs, Youmans said.
"We had to penalize some players for some issues that took place," Youmans said. "We had to stand on principle. We brought some younger players in and they stepped up."
Beaufort High had a shot to tie at the end of overtime, but Simeon Daise -- who led the Eagles with 16 points -- was off on a 3-point attempt as time expired.
Beaufort High (9-3) -- Simeon Daise 16, Rakeem Palmer 14, Jordan Adderly 10, Dymonte Gwathney 8, Tyrone Holmes 7, Joey Chaplin 2, Jordan Broussard 1
Battery Creek (5-9) -- Michael Robinson 19, B.J. Garvin 14, A. Mahaffey 10, Terrell McWilliams 8, Byson 4, Rodney Cooper 3, Terrell Hazel 2, Roberson 2
Beaufort High girls 65, Battery Creek 28
Beaufort High girls basketball coach Lillian Keeler Aldred was convinced if her team could stop Katrece Daniels, it would stop Battery Creek.
Daniels, the Dolphins' standout guard, torched the Eagles for 24 points and 11 assists in the rivals' first meeting, helping Battery Creek win by nine.
On Friday, Aldred assigned Ariele Polite the job of shadowing Daniels. Follow Daniels everywhere, Polite was told. Don't let her shoot.
Polite stuck with Daniels almost the entire game, and allowed the senior only a late 3-pointer as the Eagles ran away with the game at home. Daniels added two free throws, but by the end of the game did not bother crossing half court.
"She was getting frustrated, I could tell," Polite said. "The look on her face. The way she was talking towards her teammates."
The Eagles open region play Tuesday against Colleton County.
Beaufort High -- Arielle McPhee 23, Emani Gray 8, Ariele Polite 8, Paris Smith 7, Jay Shaw 6, Mykalah Smalls 5, Shaquana Hugue 3, Stephanie Pollock 3, Bria Dasher 2
Battery Creek -- Rashidah Jones 8, Justice Hill 6, Katrece Daniels 5, Deija Cannon 3, Nyeeka Simmons 2, Kevona Sanders 2, Gretchen Brown 2