Antoine Youmans figured he was about out of options.
He burned timeouts. He rotated his lineups. He switched defenses.
None of it had worked, and Battery Creek's coach could only shake his head in disappointment and disbelief as he watched the Dolphins' 18-point third-quarter lead Tuesday night turn into a four-point deficit at Hilton Head High with just seven minutes to play.
"Had no answer for them," Youmans said.
And then Justice Oliver finally provided one.
The Dolphins guard scored 10 of his game-high 22 in the final quarter to preserve a 57-50 win against the Seahawks.
"They came at us with all they had," Oliver said. "They got hyped, so we had to get our momentum higher than theirs by playing defense, making layups and getting to the free-throw line."
Oliver did all three.
After a 5-0 spurt to open the second half, Battery Creek led 37-19, and then the Seahawks woke up defensively. They forced seven Dolphins turnovers in the third quarter -- after forcing only three in the entire first half -- and ended the quarter on a 19-0 run to take a one-point lead into the fourth.
Oliver put a halt to the streak with a free throw and only heated up from there, scoring nine of the Dolphins' 12 points in a 12-6 run to close out the win.
"We definitely escaped -- I think that's an understatement," Youmans said. "We got rattled for a second. We always preach basketball is a game of runs, but they made a bigger run than we anticipated."
The Seahawks put an exclamation point on their streak with Michael Julian's dunk to increase their lead to four with 6:23 to play, but the defensive intensity that brought them back into the game disappeared in the fourth quarter.
Julian finished with seven points, 13 rebounds, six blocks and six steals.
"It shows a lot of heart to score 19 straight and take the lead, but it takes more than heart to win games," Seahawks coach Ken Updike said. "You have to execute and do the little things, and in the first half, we didn't do that."
BATTERY CREEK (10-11, 4-2 Region 7-AAA) -- Justice Oliver 22, Michael Robinson 10, Arnold Mahafee 7, Terrell McWilliams 6, BJ Garvin 6, Leroy Jennette 4, Brent Johnson 2.
HILTON HEAD HIGH (8-13, 1-6) -- Will McCarty 12, T.J. Clay 12, Michael Julian 7, Robbie Iulo 6, Quintin Smalls 4, Jacob Coltrane 3, Desmond Bush 2, Shakane Simmons 2, Alex MacDonald 2.
Battery Creek girls 43, Hilton Head High 30
Rashidah Jones figured the Seahawks had to lose sometime -- she just hoped the Dolphins would be the team to hand them their first defeat of the Region 7-AAA season.
On Tuesday night, she ensured they were.
Jones scored 15 points to break the Seahawks' 12-game winning streak and move the Dolphins to 3-3 in region play.
"We have to make a comeback in region, and it got started tonight," Jones said. "We beat the No. 1 team in the region, so that's got to be a good thing."
Hilton Head High (19-2, 6-1 Region 7-AAA) dropped into a first-place tie in the region standings with Bluffton High School, but the Seahawks own the tiebreakaer with a head-to-head victory last week. The two teams will meet again Feb. 11.
They will need a better effort to maintain their first-place tie. The Seahawks turned the ball over 19 times and shot just 17 percent from the field. They trailed the last 28 minutes of the game.
Margo Dill scored 15 points in the loss for Hilton Head High.
BATTERY CREEK (9-10, 3-3 Region 7-AAA) -- Rashidah Jones 15, Katrece Daniels 10, Deija Cannon 6, Nyeeka Simmons 5, Justice Hill 5, Shaniqua Moultrie 2.
HILTON HEAD HIGH (19-2, 6-1) -- Margo Dill 15, Sabrina Drammis 5, Lauryn Bush 5, Tashawna Washington 2, Sara Manesiotis 2, Jamacia King 1.