This wasn't in the script.
This special group, so dubbed by their head coach, prepared all season for this final run. A group with so much chemistry would find a way, right?
That was the feeling in Beaufort High School's gym Wednesday to open the Class 4-A boys basketball playoffs.
Beaufort High's boys survived a barrage of 3-pointers to climb back from a large deficit against North Augusta. But the visiting Yellow Jackets made more plays in the final minute and stunned the home team with a 66-64 victory.
The senior-laden Eagles, with eyes on a deep run in the playoffs, finished 19-5.
"We gave all we had," senior Ruben Francis said. "We just had a few last-second mistakes and gave it away."
North Augusta made 11 3-pointers during the game. Francis said the Eagles expected North Augusta to shoot well. But after the Yellow Jackets opened the game good on four consecutive long-range shots, the Eagles had a better feel.
North Augusta enjoyed a 13-point lead late in the third quarter before Beaufort High wised up.
"And we fought back to the finish," Francis said.
The Eagles held the visitors without a 3-pointer during the fourth quarter and took the lead with less than two minutes remaining, after getting in the lane to score and pressuring North Augusta into turnovers and two offensive fouls out of the press. But North Augusta got two free throws and a put-back basket, as well as surviving two good looks from Beaufort High's Simeon Daise in the final 15 seconds.
North Augusta senior Jaylon Myers -- who made six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 22 points -- said the Yellow Jackets played better on the road than home this season. He said they had survived a similar test on the road at Lexington, winning by a point.
"We felt like we had to come out with the same intensity we had the first half," Myers said. "Because we've been in that situation more than once."
Coach Al Young's team, the No. 4 seed from Region 5-AAAA, matched up well with the Eagles, Young said. Both are relatively small teams, he said, even if Beaufort High looked big on film.
"It's always a relief to see a team your size," Young said.
Beaufort High managed to slow North Augusta's shooters late, picking up the intensity with full-court pressure and forcing North Augusta into several bad decisions. With the home crowd on its feet chanting "Defense," Beaufort High forced a turnover and scored on the other end to grab the lead with four minutes left. The Eagles had not led since the first quarter.
The intensity was there during the comeback, Beaufort High coach Bruce Beasley said. He presided over a sullen locker room following the loss.
"They're hurting right now," Beasley said. "But just like in life, you're going to have letdowns."
North Augusta 66, Beaufort High 64
North Augusta (15-10)-- Jaylon Myers 22, Austin Davis 13, Jesse Pernell 13, Pontrelle Williams 6, Roderick Tolbert 5, Kenneth Finley 3, Tavarez Hall 2, Devontez Rouse 2
Beaufort High (19-5)-- Jordan Adderley 19, Dymonte Gwathney 12, Rakeem Palmer 9, Keith Alston 8, Simeon Daise 7, Keith Carpenter 3, Ruben Francis 2, Jordan Broussard 2, Benji Calderon 2