The stakes are high whenever Hilton Head Prep and Hilton Head Christian Academy meet in any sport, but two storylines will elevate the importance of tonight's boys basketball game between the SCISAA Region 3-AAA rivals at Prep's Fraser Field House.
For starters, it will mark Prep coach Rich Basirico's third shot at his 500th career victory. The Dolphins (10-4 overall, 0-1 in SCISAA Region 3-AAA) missed out on their coach's milestone win twice last week, as Australian club team West Adelaide hit a buzzer-beater for a 55-54 win Tuesday, and Porter-Gaud erased Prep's seven-point halftime lead en route to a 59-52 win Friday.
But it's a big game for the Eagles, as well, and not just because they're facing their biggest rivals. Hilton Head Christian (8-4, 0-1) opened region play with a 56-34 loss to Porter-Gaud on Saturday, so the loser of tonight's game will drop to 0-2 in the region and deal a serious blow to its playoff prospects.
It's the second meeting of the season -- the Dolphins rallied for a 51-46 victory in the finals of the RET Thomas Memorial Holiday Tournament on Dec. 18. Prep guard Matt Layman scored a game-high 18 points, Alex Orford had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Dimitri Lowry added 10 points and six assists in that game.
Hilton Head Christian won two of three meetings last season.