If they sometimes make it look easy, it's because Jordan Adderly and his teammates have been at this for years.
Adderly, a Beaufort High School senior, grew up playing basketball in local parks with many of his Eagles teammates. The team's depth and camaraderie could be attributed to those early pickup games. And the group stays close throughout the year. Their travel team took third place at a national tournament this summer.
Adderly averages 10.5 points, 3.3 steals and 4.3 assists per game for the Eagles. He and Beaufort High's other seniors aim to end their high school years in style. The first task was to better rival Battery Creek, something Adderly's class has not done often.
The Eagles won with ease the first meeting, but the Dolphins shocked Beaufort High in the rematch -- and Adderly thinks the split set the tone for the rest of the season.
The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet caught up with Adderly this week to talk about the team's bond and why the loss to Battery Creek was a positive point in the Eagles season.
Question: You guys have had a good run since that Battery Creek game. Why?
Answer: Once we lost that game, we felt like we've really got to be on our job. We started out, all that winning we (were) doing, it was building us up, building us up. The losses help us realize everybody else is coming up, too, so we've got to step up. All of us are seniors, so everyone wants their last trip to be a good one.
Q: You guys have a veteran team, like you said. What are your expectations?
A: Everybody wants to leave with a good ring or something -- state championship.
Q: What have y'all been doing well?
A: We've tightened up our defense. Everybody has tightened up their defense and rotations and everything. The chemistry we've got with each other...Our defense is up from last year. And that helps out our offense, our transition.
Q: When y'all are playing well, what's your style?
A: All that winning, we thought we couldn't be beat. We thought we had that nice, smooth swag. But everybody else helped us realized we've really got to play.
Q: What was the reaction to the Battery Creek game?
A: I really couldn't even sleep that night, really. That really hurt. Everybody wants to beat Creek their last year. We really hadn't beaten Creek like that (first time). We wanted to sweep them this year. That (loss) really helped us out this year.
Q: How about you personally, how do you think you've played?
A: I build off my teammates. I learn my position from my teammates. I can look at them, and whatever they bring to their position, I bring that from them. And that's what helps me out.
Q: What's been your role?
A: Coach wants me penetrating and making a play. That's really my role, is trying to make that right decision.
Q: Is it working well so far?
A: I know I can do way more.
Q: Do you know what you want to do next year?
A: Go into the military. I'm going to try to go to college, but if I don't find a good college or whatever, I'm going to join the military. Army. My dad was in the military. But I'm really wanting to try to play basketball.
Q: How long have you lived here?
A: Since fifth grade.
Q: Where were you before here?
A: Miami. We moved here after the death of my granddaddy. My dad wanted to move up here with my grandma. I like it. Since I came here, that's how I learned how to play basketball -- playing Greene Street, all the parks and stuff.
Q: Did you play much in Miami?
A: I was a football player. I came here, that's when I was exposed to basketball. That's what they do here, so I learned. That's what I did with me and my teammates -- Me, (Dymonte) Gwathney, (Simeon) Daise, (Keith) Alston and (Ruben) Francis. We played at the park, played at Greene Street every day after school. Just playing basketball. I got hurt playing football in middle school. I hurt my fibula. It was basketball season when I healed up. I was like, 'Man, I'm just playing basketball, because I don't want to be out no more. I don't want to missnothing.'