With each passing game, Hilton Head High coach Ken Updike has a specific goal -- he wants his team to learn from it.
The Seahawks were dealt a hard lesson Tuesday night.
Cane Bay erased the host's 13-point fourth-quarter lead and escaped Hilton Head High with a 59-57 win in the Region 7-AAA opener for both teams.
The Seahawks led 53-40 with 4 minutes, 50 seconds to play.
"I feel like we started celebrating a win before the game was over," Updike said. "... You start letting your guard down and stop paying attention to details, that's how you get beat, and that was Exhibit A."
Clinging to a four-point advantage, the Seahawks turned the ball over twice in the last 30 seconds, and Cobras guard Jiquan Hammond made them pay each time.
Hammond nailed a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one with 21 seconds remaining. Following the ensuing timeout, Hammond stole the Seahawks' inbounds pass and made what eventually became the game-winning layup. Seahawks guard Will McCarty had a chance to tie the game with a pair of free throws with 6 seconds left, but made just one of two attempts. The Cobras added a free throw with four seconds left for the 59-57 final.
The last-minute effort from Hammond, who scored a game-high 25 points, gave Cane Bay (5-7) its first region win in school history.
"I was just playing hard, going all out on that possession, because we really wanted a steal there," Hammond said. "I found an opportunity, and I wasn't going to let my team down, because we didn't give up tonight."
The Cobras began to cut into the lead with four minutes remaining when they caught the Seahawks (7-8) falling asleep on a missed free throw. Cane Bay rebounded its own missed free throw -- which no Seahawks player even attempted to track down -- and Hammond made a 3-pointer to cap a five-point Cobras possession to trim the Seahawks' lead to 53-45.
Cane Bay finished the game on a 19-4 run.
"I hope we learn from it," Updike said. "It's big, but it's one region game. We got another one (at Battery Creek) on Friday, so we don't have time to worry about this one."
CANE BAY (5-7, 1-0) -- Jiquan Hammond 25, Pierre Mathews 17, Traevon Doctor 6, Tremaine Hart 6, Marcus Looney 3, Kevin Lane 1, Marquise Hilton 1.
HILTON HEAD HIGH (7-8, 0-1) -- T.J. Clay 16, Desmond Bush 11, Shakane Simmons 10, Will McCarty 9, Quintin Smalls 8, Michael Julian 3.
Hilton Head High girls 40, Cane Bay 36
Sara Manesiotis admitted the Seahawks were flat for the better part of three quarters. They sure picked the right time to wake up.
Hilton Head High finished the game on a 14-3 run to win its region opener and improve to 14-1 overall.
"I just don't think we were awake in the first half or the third (quarter)," Manesiotis said. "We have to play every game like it's our last -- that's what it takes to win."
The Seahawks trailed 33-26 with six minutes left in the game, but thanks to a swarming full-court press, they erased that deficit in just two minutes on a Manesiotis layup.
Manesiotis finished with a career-high 10 points, and Sabrina Drammis also had 10.
Angelique Green provided all of the Cobras' offense with 26 points, including 19 in the opening half to give Cane Bay a 23-17 lead at the break.
CANE BAY (4-8, 0-1) -- Angelique Green 26, Brookelynn Doctor 6, Alaina Haney 2, Shatejzia Robinson 2.
HILTON HEAD HIGH (14-1, 1-0) -- Sabrina Drammis 10, Sara Manesiotis 10, Margo Dill 8, Tashawna Washington 8, Lauryn Bush 4.