Beaufort High School boys basketball players felt they started flat at Summerville in January.
The Green Wave surprised the Eagles with their intensity, bulling their way to a 50-40 victory. The loss, Beaufort High's lone setback in region play, set off some changes in practice.
"Coach is really pushing us now... making us run, halfcourt execution, halfcourt defense," Beaufort High senior Dymonte Gwathney said. "We came in there sleeping on them. They just really out-strapped us."
The Eagles (16-4, 4-1 Region 8-AAAA) have the chance to show whether they've improved and can earn a shot at the region title with a win tonight at home, a 7:30 p.m. rematch with Summerville. The visiting Green Wave are unbeaten in five region games. Since the Summerville loss, Beaufort High has won three consecutive games, scoring an average of 68 points.
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Gwathney leads the Eagles in scoring, averaging almost 12 points per game. Guard Jordan Adderley is chipping in 10 per game.
Adderley said tonight's game provides a chance for Beaufort High to return a favor, to avenge the road loss from earlier in the season. The experienced Eagles have aspirations bigger than this game -- they hope to go deep into the Class 4-A state playoffs -- but this game is a start, a chance to solidify a home playoff game. And coach Bruce Beasley wants his team focused on closing the regular-season schedule.
Tonight is homecoming at Beaufort High. Next week will feature Senior Night, when a good portion of the roster will be recognized.
The Eagles have said they set high expectations before the season, that they thought an undefeated run was a possibility. After adjusting to the reality, the Eagles have played well, guard Simeon Daise said.
"We're falling into our place," he said. "Practice running real smoothly, games running real smoothly. Now, it's just see the path and get there."
Bible Baptist at Hilton Head Christian, girls 6:15 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.
Northwood Academy at Hilton Head Prep, girls 6:30 p.m., boys 8 p.m.
Lake Marion at Hilton Head High, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.
Summerville at Beaufort High, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.
Cane Bay at Battery Creek, girls 6:30 p.m., boys 8 p.m.
Thomas Heyward at Charleston Collegiate, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.
St. Andrew's at Beaufort Academy, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.
Bethune-Bowman at Ridgeland, girls 6:30 p.m., boys 8 p.m.
Estill at Whale Branch, girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.