It won't be a game the Hilton Head High girls basketball team remembers for its perfection. But by season's end, the Seahawks may have plenty of reasons to look back positively on Tuesday night's matchup with Bluffton High School.
In a meeting of two undefeated teams in Region 7-AAA, the Seahawks used a stingy man-to-man defense to defeat the Bobcats, 30-20, and take over sole possession of first place midway through the conference schedule.
Hilton Head High improved to 18-1 overall and 5-0 in region play while ending the Bobcats' seven-game winning streak.
"We've come a long way since last year, so this is a big victory," said Seahawks guard Sabrina Drammis, who led the team with 12 points. "We've worked hard to get to this point, and we deserve it. But we can't let ourselves get big heads -- we have to keep this going and win the region."
The forecast for a region title -- just the third in school history -- certainly looks brighter now.
The Seahawks trailed only once -- 2-0 after a basket from Tibra Wheeler, who led Bluffton with 10 -- despite not getting a field goal from leading scorer Margo Dill. The Bobcats played a box-and-one defense and often double-teamed Dill to keep the ball out of her hands, and the defensive strategy held the Seahawks forward to four points, all from the free-throw line.
Drammis, the team's second leading scorer, missed her first six shots, but she made two 3-pointers to start the second quarter and give the Seahawks a 14-4 lead. Eighth-grader Lauryn Bush did her part in picking up the slack -- she scored 10 points.
"Margo is a really good shooter, so when she's not getting shots off, the rest of us have to make up for that," Drammis said. "Lauryn gave us some big shots that gave us momentum, and we fed off that."
While the Bobcats kept the Seahawks' offense in check, they were unable to take advantage offensively. Bluffton shot 14 percent from the field and made only four of 16 free-throw attempts.
The Bobcats were held to seven points or less in each quarter.
"Some of them were good looks we missed, but then we rushed a lot of shots," Bobcats coach Lonnie Roberts said. "Nothing was working. We didn't have anything going for us tonight. For whatever reason, Hilton Head (High) always seems to get the best of us in our first (meeting)."
BLUFFTON (13-6, 4-1 Region 7-AAA) -- Tibra Wheeler 10, Jennifer Giles 6, Shakeria Kitty 4.
HILTON HEAD HIGH (18-1, 5-0) -- Sabrina Drammis 12, Lauryn Bush 10, Margo Dill 4, Shy Flemming 3, Sara Manesiotis 1.