High School Sports

Layman, Prep boys sharp in win over HHCA

In three years as Hilton Head Prep's starting quarterback, Matt Layman never beat Hilton Head Christian Academy on the football field.

He made sure the Dolphins made up for it on the basketball court in his senior year.

Layman scored a game-high 19 points -- surpassing 1,000 points in his high school career -- and the Dolphins beat their rivals for the third time this season, winning 57-42 at Hilton Head Christian on Tuesday.

"We kind of wanted to make a statement," said Layman, who plans to sign a scholarship today to play football at Robert Morris University next season. "We came out and played hard. We finally came out and made shots and got rebounds and played great defense. Everything was clicking for us, finally."

And it clicked from the start. Layman scored seven of his 19 points during the Dolphins' 13-2 run to the start the game, including the first five of the game, and Prep never trailed.

More important than the start of the first half, though, was the way Prep played after halftime, Layman said.

"In almost every game this year, we've been up at halftime and it's come down to the wire," Layman said. "We had to come out playing hard in the second half, which we did."

Hilton Head Christian pulled within 42-37 on Brad Meccariello's 3-pointer with 7:01 left, but Layman answered with a 3 at the other end, and Tim Godshalk followed with another 3-pointer, pushing the margin into double digits for good.

"You've got to give them credit," Eagles coach Vinnie Emery said. "They've played well against us. ... Our job is to figure out what we need to do and try to execute a little bit more efficiently and put the ball in the basket a little bit more than we have."

The Dolphins had something to do with that, holding Eagles stars JaBrook Tucker (11 points) and Taylor MacDonald (seven points) well below their season averages and limiting Hilton Head Christian to 31 percent from the field.

The strong defensive effort was exactly what Prep coach Rich Basirico wanted to see from a team trying to shake off a four-game losing streak.

"We've struggled a little bit the past couple of weeks and had some tough losses," Basirico said. "Tonight showed the character of our team. It's not easy when you lose two games at the buzzer and lose a two-pointer. We always tell our kids how you bounce back shows who you are as a basketball player and who you are as a person, and I think we showed that tonight."

HILTON HEAD PREP (13-8, 3-3 SCISAA Region 3-AAA) -- Matt Layman 19, Dimitri Lowry 13, Patrick Andrews 12, Alex Orford 6, Tim Godshalk 5, Bo Strimpfel 2.

HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN (12-7, 2-4 SCISAA Region 3-AAA) -- Brad Meccariello 11, JaBrook Tucker 11, J.D. Meeder 8, Taylor MacDonald 7, Kyle Weaver 3, Zach Reynolds 2.

Hilton Head Prep girls 51, Hilton Head Christian 15

Kate Brunori scored 24 points and Jill Brunori added 10, as the Dolphins built a big lead and cruised to an easy victory, their fourth in a row and their second against the Eagles this season.

The Dolphins face a big test Friday, hosting a Northwood Academy team that handed them a 71-66 road loss on Jan. 14.

Becky Woods scored seven points to lead the Eagles, who lost their second straight since beating Beaufort Academy on Jan. 25.

HILTON HEAD PREP (22-3, 6-2 SCISAA Region 3-AAA) -- Kate Brunori 24, Jill Brunori 10, Kathleen Blum 8, Lane Czura 4, Grace Anderson 3, Amber Erkan 1, Jamese Franklin 1.

HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN (2-18, 0-8 SCISAA Region 3-AAA) -- Becky Woods 7, Ashley Bezilla 2, Audrey Bensch 2, Jessica Day 2, Katherine Gehrt 2.