Samuel White isn't the first athlete to complain about running during basketball practice. And odds are he won't be the last.
But Lake Marion's suddenly red-hot guard may be one of the few to support it.
"Our man-to-man defense is great because we're all in great shape," White said. "This here, during a game, this seems easy."
The Gators sure made it look that way Friday night at Hilton Head High.
Lake Marion forced 21 Seahawks turnovers and cruised to a 57-41 victory. The Gators maintained their spot atop the Region 7-AAA standings. Coupled with Bluffton High School's loss Friday at Berkeley, they clinched at least a share of the region title.
The Gators used the man-to-man defense White referenced -- as well as a variety of others -- to put pressure on the Seahawks in the backcourt, and it worked to perfection. They forced 14 turnovers in the opening half while holding Hilton Head High to 15 points.
Barrian Jamison led Lake Marion with 18 points and White finished with 10.
"They're very quick, and they changed defenses quite a bit, and that hurt us a little bit," Seahawks coach Ken Updike said. "I'm fairly happy with the way we broke the press, but it was the decisions we made afterwards that hurt. We didn't attack -- that's what we struggled with."
For the second straight game, the Seahawks fought back in the second half, but yet again, the first-half deficit proved too large to overcome.
Hilton Head High trailed by 18 on Tuesday against Battery Creek before taking a lead into the fourth quarter, though the Seahawks eventually lost. And on Friday, they cut the Gators' 22-point lead to 12 but ran out of gas.
Desmond Bush was the only Seahawks player in double figures with 11 points.
"You saw two different teams tonight," Updike said. "You saw a team in the first half that failed to execute and failed to play together as a team, and we're down 20. You saw a team in the second half that did (its) job defensively and offensively, and you saw us outscore them.
"At some point in time, we have to understand the difference. We can't just keep talking about it."
The Seahawks have two region games remaining, beginning with a trip to Berkeley on Tuesday night. They will wrap up their season with a game at Bluffton on Friday.
LAKE MARION (13-5, 7-1 Region 7-AAA) -- Barrian Jamison 18, Samuel White 10, Michael Williams 10, Raymond Hilliard 8, Marques Watson 4, Robert Jacques 2, Eric Stokes 2, Derrick Jamison 2, Everette Mitchum 1.
HILTON HEAD HIGH (8-14, 1-7) -- Desmond Bush 11, Michael Julian 7, T.J. Clay 6, Will McCarty 5, Shakane Simmons 5, Jacob Coltrane 3, Quintin Smalls 2, Alex MacDonald 2.
Hilton Head High girls 42, Lake Marion 31
Three days after Battery Creek ended Hilton Head High's 12-game winning streak, the Seahawks entered Friday with one goal: Start a new one.
They did exactly that.
The Seahawks turned the ball over 20 times but forced 21 on the defensive end to keep the Gators winless in region play.
Hilton Head High stayed tied with Bluffton High School for the Region 7-AAA lead -- the two teams will meet in the season finale on Feb. 11, but each has a game preceding that meeting Tuesday night. The Seahawks travel to Berkeley, while the Bobcats host Battery Creek, which also still has an outside shot at earning a home playoff game.
Eight players scored for the Seahawks on Senior Night. Sabrina Drammis had 14, and Margo Dill added 12 for the Seahawks, who topped the 20-win plateau with the victory. Hilton Head High is 20-2 overall and has clinched its spot in the Class 3-A postseason.
LAKE MARION (8-15, 0-8 Region 7-AAA) -- Raven Scales 9, Marquayla Lee-Parson 7, Samantha Haney 6, Jamika Hanton 5, Cadajah Glenn 2, Kneisha Fields 2.
HILTON HEAD HIGH (20-2, 7-1) -- Sabrina Drammis 14, Margo Dill 12, Lauryn Bush 5, Jamacia King 4, Madeleine Mayer 2, Tashawna Washington 2, Shy Flemming 2, Sara Manesiotis 1.