Keith Alston carried a piece of cake in a plastic container, orange icing making the wedge to look like a basketball.
Under his arm, the Beaufort High School guard carried the poster honoring him on Senior Night. Many replica jerseys lined the rail above the bleachers at Beaufort High's gym Friday. The games were a celebration.
But the Eagles made sure they also treated their final regular season game as business. And they went to work on Colleton County, running away with a 79-57 victory and the Region 8-AAAA title.
Beaufort High finished with the same region record as Summerville, but the Eagles earned the edge based on regular-season win percentage, excluding tournament games.
With the region's No. 1 seed, the Eagles believe they will host White Knoll next week to open the Class 4-A playoffs.
And so Alston might enjoy his cake. But next week is back to work.
"This region win is good," he said. "But we want more. We're still hungry."
Jordan Adderley led the Eagles with 20 points. Fellow seniors Simeon Daise and Alston added 10 each. And senior Benji Calderon provided a solid post presence off the bench.
The Eagles were wary of Colleton County, which entered the game with only one region win. The Cougars hung around during the teams' first meeting.
Beaufort High coach Bruce Beasley said the focus Friday was on limiting Colleton County big man Frankell Williams. Williams finished with a game-high 21 points, but no other Cougar reached double figures.
And the Eagles did not let the Cougars stick around, using full-court pressure and nifty passing to run up the score by halftime. The cushion let Beaufort High's senior-laden team enjoy the halftime ceremony. The line of seniors -- both from the boys and girls teams and the cheerleading squad -- stretched across the gym.
Eight seniors were recognized from Bruce Beasley's squad before securing the program's first region title since 2006. Beasley said his team could enjoy it, but that a new season begins next week.
"This was kind of the special group," Beasley said. "You very seldom get that."
Colleton County (3-16, 1-6 Region 8-AAAA) -- Frankell Williams 21, Spencer Floyd 7, Rashee Hodges 6, Blake Drew 4, Shyeim Chisolm 4, Solomon Monroe 3, Kalin Johnson 3, Dahquan Pearse 3, Ernest Hicks 2, Jabri Mays 2, Mark Blankership 2
Beaufort High (18-4, 6-1) -- Jordan Adderley 20, Rakeem Palmer 15, Keith Alston 10, Simeon Daise 10, Benji Calderon 9, Dante Smalls 4, Joey Chaplin 3, Dymonte Gwathney 3, Keith Carpenter 3, Jordan Broussard 2
Colleton County girls 58, Beaufort High 50 (OT)
Beaufort High's girls wanted to continue their recent run, having played their way into talk of a home playoff game before Friday. Especially on Senior Night.
But the Eagles closed the regular season on a sour note, battling to get into overtime before dropping their final regular season game. Beaufort High scored the first basket of overtime to take the lead but could not sustain the momentum.
The Eagles earned the No. 3 seed from Region 8-AAAA and will travel to Aiken on Tuesday to open the Class 4-A playoffs.
Beaufort High this week was without coach Lillian Keeler Aldred, who had a baby girl Thursday. The Eagles defeated Fort Dorchester on the road Tuesday under assistant coach Elaine Senn.
Senn coached the Eagles again Friday and plans to be on the sideline Tuesday to open the playoffs.
"The girls played their hearts out," Senn said. "And they're ready for the playoffs."
The Eagles switched from full-court pressure to a 2-3 zone Friday, to prevent the Cougars easy baskets and protect players in foul trouble. Guard Arielle McPhee and Mykalah Smalls spent stretches on the bench to avoid fouling out.
Despite the loss, Senn said the performance showed the team's balance. Without key players for stretches, the Eagles were still in position to win the game.
Paris Smith led the Eagles with 17 points.
"Everyone on this team contributes," Senn said. "There's not one person we look for to carry us."
Colleton County (18-8, 6-2 Region 8-AAAA) -- Thea Campbell 18, Briana Chisolm 16, Kayla Reed-Blake 8, Deyja Brown 7, Tee Burns 7, T. Green 2
Beaufort High (13-10, 5-3) -- Paris Smith 17, Ebony Watson 11, Arielle McPhee 8, Jay Shaw 7, Mykalah Smalls 3, Veneshia Holmes 2, Emani Gray 2