High School Sports

Prep Roundup, Feb. 19

SCISAA Class 3-A Boys Basketball Playoffs

Hilton Head Prep 58, Florence Christian 30: After a slow start Saturday in its SCISAA Class 3-A playoff opener, the Hilton Head Prep boys basketball team cranked up its defense and showed good balance in running away with a 58-30 win over Florence Christian at Porter-Gaud in Charleston.

The Dolphins (18-8) only led by one point, 7-6, after the first quarter, but relied on their defense to break it open in the second quarter. Six different Hilton Head Prep players had points in the period as the Dolphins outscored Florence Christian 23-8.

"Our defensive intensity picked up, and obviously our offense picked up, too," Prep coach Rich Basirico said. "We just came out a little flat, and had to get going. We were able to make some steals which we turned into baskets."

The Dolphins kept the momentum going after halftime, outscoring Florence Christian 18-8 in the third quarter to take a 48-22 lead into the fourth.

Matt Layman finished with 18 points, five steals and three assists to lead the Dolphins. Patrick Andrews added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Bo Strimpfel had nine points and 10 rebounds -- six on the offensive glass.

Florence Christian (10-16) was led by Zach Herndon's 12 points.

Hilton Head Prep's opponent in the quarterfinals will be No. 1 seed Heathwood Hall, which received a first-round bye. They'll play at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sumter Civic Center.

Orangeburg Prep 56, Hilton Head Christian Academy 51: The Hilton Head Christian boys got off to a strong enough start, but poor free-throw shooting and turnovers helped halt their momentum as Orangeburg Prep rallied for the first-round win at Porter-Gaud in Charleston.

The Eagles jumped out to a 26-16 lead by halftime, but were held to just nine points in the third quarter as the Indians climbed back into it. Orangeburg Prep continued its run -- helped largely by a 16-for-21 performance at the line over the last eight minutes -- and outscored the Christian Academy 26-16 in the fourth.

"We just weren't able to put enough baskets together," Eagles coach Vinnie Emery said. "The kids played hard, but we just couldn't find the rhythm in the second half.

"It wasn't any one particular thing, it was just a little bit hard to stop the flow once they got going."

Taylor MacDonald led Hilton Head Christian (14-10) with 14 points and six rebounds. C.J. Evanofski added 12 points and Brad Meccariello finished with seven points, six rebounds and four assists for the Eagles, who shot just 10 for 22 at the free-throw line.

Kyle Stokes had 19 points to lead Orangeburg Prep (15-17).

Class 4-A Lower State Wrestling Tournament

Beaufort High School qualified five wrestlers for next weekend's state tournament, including 160-pounder Kenan Jackson, who left the tournament at Fort Dorchester High School with a Lower State championship.

Jackson (37-2) -- who has not lost to a Class 4-A South Carolina opponent in his senior season -- knocked off top-seeded Stratford junior Austin Koile in the finals, 9-5. The win avenged a loss in last year's state tournament to Koile, who finished third there.

Clint Wright finished runner-up Saturday at 171 pounds and Maliek Maldonado was second at 215 pounds to join Jackson. The Eagles' state qualifying group was rounded out by 145-pounder Trey Arant and 189-pounder Thyrik Legree, who both finished fourth on the day.

The five Beaufort High wrestlers will head upstate next weekend for the state meet, which is being held at the Anderson Civic Center on Friday and Saturday.

Beaufort High coach Bill DaMude was hoping for more than five qualifiers, but was fairly pleased with his team's performance.

"Overall, not a bad day, or tournament," DaMude said. "The kids looked good wrestling."

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