On the eve of his team's rematch with a Pinewood Prep team it beat on the road two weeks earlier, Hilton Head Christian Academy boys basketball coach Vinnie Emery speculated the Panthers would carry a bit of angry motivation into the Eagles' gym Friday night.
Oh, the Panthers were hot, all right -- and they didn't stay mad for long.
Senior Drew Williams hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter to help the Panthers build a 15-point lead, and freshman Keith Pinckney took over from there, scoring 23 points to lead Pinewood Prep to a 74-47 victory and keep the Panthers tied atop the SCISAA Region 3-AAA standings.
Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers early on to make it 8-0, prompting Emery to burn a timeout just 1:33 into the game. The damage was already done.
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"Drew is a great long-range shooter, and just to get that spurt right at the beginning kind of put them behind the 8-ball from the get-go," Pinewood Prep coach Pat Eidson said. "Back-to-back 3s is a pretty nice way to open up the game."
The Eagles twice pulled within five in the opening quarter, but Williams made sure they didn't keep it that close. He hit another 3-pointer to make it 16-8, then swished another at the buzzer for a 25-10 lead after one quarter. Williams finished with 16 points.
"We just didn't pick him up in transition defense," Emery said. "We had talked about it, and we didn't. He hit them, and that got them rolling."
The Eagles could never make much of a charge again, despite 28 points from JaBrook Tucker, in large part because of Pinckney's ability to stop any potential runs. He repeatedly drove to the basket for layups, and when he couldn't convert, he often got the line, where he was 7 for 7.
"We had issues as we got deeper into the game with just being able to keep them in front of us," Emery said. "And, you know, the Pinckney kid is a pretty good player. That kid can play. He scored 19 on us (at Pinewood), but it seemed like tonight he was able to control the whole flow of the game."
PINEWOOD PREP (15-9 overall, 4-1 SCISAA Region 3-AAA) -- Keith Pinckney 23, Drew Williams 16, Jerome Deas 14, Michael Pendley 11, Ryan Felder 5, J.D. Waite 3, Cameron Fisher 2.
HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN (12-6 overall, 2-3 SCISAA Region 3-AAA) -- JaBrook Tucker 28, Taylor MacDonald 10, Brad Meccariello 6, Connor Millen 2, Kyle Weaver 1.
PINEWOOD PREP GIRLS 47, HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN 17
The Panthers' girls started nearly as hot as the boys, building a huge halftime lead and cruising to their ninth consecutive win to remain unbeaten in SCISAA Region 3-AAA play.
Hilton Head Christian was coming off a 35-21 win against Beaufort Academy on Tuesday, its first since Dec. 4, but the Eagles couldn't get much going on the offensive end until it was too late. They scored 11 of their 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Jaden Colella led the Eagles with 12 points.
Maria Corella scored nine points, and Raygon Hendrix added eight for Pinewood Prep.
PINEWOOD PREP (20-3 overall, 6-0 SCISAA Region 3-AAA) -- Maria Corella 9, Raygon Hendrix 8, Marisa Patton 7, Shelby Brochetti 5, Katelyn Dambaugh 4, Alexis Simmons 4, Megan Fish 4, Jennifer Rhodes 4, Kelsey Orvin 2.
HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN (2-17 overall, 0-7 SCISAA Region 3-AAA) -- Jaden Colella 12, Audrey Bensch 2, Anna Bensch 2, Kelly Humes 1.