As Battery Creek coach Antoine Youmans recapped Friday's game -- a 71-58 Dolphins win against Berkeley -- his star of the contest, Terrell McWilliams, emerged from the locker room.
A few moments earlier, McWilliams had poured in a game-high 27 points to break Battery Creek's two-game skid. But as Youmans stuck out his hand to congratulate his senior forward, it wasn't the point total that earned his praise.
"Hey, good defense, kid," Youmans said. "That's exactly what we needed."
McWilliams was a two-way star Friday night.
In addition to being the focal point of the Dolphins' offense, he was assigned the defensive role of containing Berkeley leading scorer DeVante Cunningham -- and he answered the call. McWilliams held Cunningham to four points in the first half, helping Battery Creek to a nine-point lead at the break.
Youmans said he wanted an athletic body on Cunningham -- who finished with 16 points -- to help slow him down. He was afraid it would hinder McWilliams on the offensive end, but that was far from the case.
"We needed this win bad to get our swagger back," McWilliams said. "I'm always willing to do whatever I can to help my team. Tonight, I was confident in myself and I believed in myself."
The Dolphins also got 18 points from Justice Oliver and 11 from Brent Johnson. They needed both to play large.
After blowing a 14-point halftime lead against Bluffton High School a week ago, the Dolphins fell to 2-2 in Region 7-AAA, one loss behind the Bobcats and Lake Marion.
Friday's victory against the Stags keeps them within shouting distance of the region leaders while also cushioning their playoff chances. Battery Creek leads Berkeley and Hilton Head High by two games.
"I told the guys this would be a make-or-break game for us," Youmans said. "After the Bluffton loss, our guys' morale was down for a day or two. We needed something like this to get us back up."
BERKELEY (8-12, 1-5 Region 7-AAA) -- DeVante Cunnigham 16, Kevin Krieger 12, Antwone Little 10, Matthew Bryant 9, Omaine Thomas 6, Rashard Pelage 5.
BATTERY CREEK (9-11, 3-2) -- Terrell McWilliams 27, Justice Oliver 18, Brent Johnson 11, Michael Robinson 6, Arnold Mahafee 5, B.J. Garvin 4.
Battery Creek girls 55, Berkeley 47
Dolphins guard Katrece Daniels lost the one-on-one scoring battle with Stags senior Leanna Morrison, but Battery Creek walked away with the win.
Daniels scored 25 points -- Morrison finished with 27 -- to help the Dolphins end a three-game losing streak.
The Dolphins trailed by four after the opening quarter, but they forced nine turnovers in the second quarter to outscore the Stags 16-7. Berkeley turned the ball over 21 times in the game, in large part due to an active Battery Creek zone defense.
"We have been off in our games lately, so we wanted to come in tonight and start with our defense," Daniels said. "This game is going to be a boost for us."
While the team accounted for the defense, Daniels provided most of the offense herself. She made four 3-pointers -- including her first two attempts -- and had 22 points heading into the final quarter.
"When I make shots in there, it really seems to get the team pumped up," she said. "And then the defense starts helping on me, so that helps with my assists."
Rashidah Jones added 12 for the Dolphins.
BERKELEY (5-12, 1-5 Region 7-AAA) -- Leanna Morrison 27, Mekko Brown 9, Kenya Sanders 6, Donnie Robinson 3, Alex Ravenell 2.
BATTERY CREEK (8-10, 2-3) -- Katrece Daniels 25, Rashidah Jones 12, Deija Cannon 7, Justice Hill 5, Khadijah Badger 4, Nyeeka Simmons 2.