Coaches reminded Keith Alston at halftime he was a guard and needed to act like it.
Drive to the basket, they said. Open things up.
Alston, Beaufort High's senior guard, came out of the locker room at halftime with a different attitude, splitting Fort Dorchester's defense and making things happen for himself and teammates.
The outburst helped the Eagles to a 70-60 victory and a 3-1 mark in Region 8-AAAA. Alston scored 10 of his 12 points during the third quarter.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
"I figured out if I drove the ball, I could open up other players to score more," Alston said. "And I hadn't been doing that the first half, so you're going to see a lot more of that out of me."
Beaufort High travels to Ashley Ridge on Friday, but players are looking forward to Feb. 4, senior night, when they host Summerville. The Green Wave were 4-0 in region play entering Tuesday's games. They handed Beaufort High its lone region loss last week.
The Eagles' win Tuesday allowed them to keep pace.
"We want to stay right behind them," Beaufort High coach Bruce Beasley said. "This was one of the big games we had to have. All region games, we've got to try to win them at home and steal a few on the road."
Beaufort High players say they have played together better in the two games since the Summerville loss. Four Eagles scored in double digits Tuesday. Dymonte Gwathney led the way with 20.
The Eagles led by as many as 15 points during the fourth quarter before allowing some easy baskets down the stretch. Gwathney's high-energy style at times frustrated Fort Dorchester's players. The Beaufort High senior worked his way inside and earned repeated trips to the free-throw line, another result of Eagles guards getting penetration and kicking out.
Beasley, pleased with his team's effort and with the victory, warned only that the Eagles needed to make better decisions on the floor.
"We're going to have to do a better job of minimizing our mistakes," Beasley said. "Especially mental mistakes."
Fort Dorchester (8-9, 2-2 Region 8-AAAA) -- T. Bryant 14, C. Rause 12, D George 10, Bradley Frasier 7, Devron Glenn 7, D. Benetein 5, Baptiste Staggers 3, A. Whatley 2
Beaufort High (15-4, 3-1 Region 8-AAAA) -- Dymonte Gwathney 20, Keith Alston 12, Jordan Adderly 10, Simeon Daise 10, Rakeem Palmer 6, Jordan Broussard 5, Dante Smalls 3, Ruben Francis 2, Benji Calderon 2
Beaufort High girls 45, Fort Dorchester 36
Beaufort High knew little about Tuesday's region foe.
But the Eagles knew Fort Dorchester shared the same region record and that to gain an edge in the standings, they needed a victory. Coach Lillian Keeler Aldred's team came through with the win behind one of her team's best defensive performances of the season.
"I feel like this is the first night our press really worked," she said. "When we play good defense, everything falls into place."
Beaufort High's Arielle McPhee, who led all scorers with 12 points, also added 10 steals. Emani Gray pulled down eight rebounds for the Eagles, who, after not winning a league game last season, stand 2-2 in Region 8-AAAA.
During the final minute, with the Patriots desperately trying to get to the basket, Beaufort High forced two key turnovers and Shaquana Hughe's layup with the foul capped the victory.
"We knew to stay ahead in region play, we needed this win," Keeler Aldred said.
The Eagles travel to Ashley Ridge on Friday for a rematch of an earlier Beaufort High victory.
Fort Dorchester (6-11, 1-3 Region 8-AAAA) -- Ciera Kendrick 9, Indie Lawson 8, Jatana Rodman 6, Briana Chisolm 6, Shelly Funches 6, Leah Robinson 1
Beaufort High (10-9, 2-2 Region 8-AAAA) -- Arielle McPhee 12, Paris Smith 9, Ebony Watson 8, Mykalah Smalls 8, Jay Shaw 2, Veneshia Holmes 2, Shaquana Hughe 2, Bria Dasher 1, Stephanie Pollock 1