The Hilton Head Prep girls basketball team will get the first of the two rematches it desires, but the Dolphins still have work to do to earn the second end of the deal.
The Dolphins beat Orangeburg Prep 50-35 on Tuesday in Sumter, advancing to the semifinals of the SCISAA Class 3-A playoffs, where they will face Northwood Academy at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The Chargers won both regular-season meetings.
Prep (25-5) got off to a slow start in the quarterfinals, coach Bob Sulek said, but the Dolphins' trademark man-to-man defense kept them in it, and they pulled away in the second half after holding a modest 22-15 lead at halftime.
"We forced them to turn the ball over 30 times, but we were having trouble converting," Sulek said. "We played very well in the fourth quarter. We went into the four corners; they couldn't get us out of it, and we scored every time."
Sulek said forward Jamese Franklin was the Dolphins' star for her all-around play, scoring 10 points, grabbing eight rebounds and holding Orangeburg Prep leading scorer Kate Edwards to two points.
Kate Brunori had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Jill Brunori had eight points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals, and Kathleen Blum added 11 points and three assists for Prep. Lane Czura also had a solid all-around game with six points, four assists, five rebounds and four steals.
Now it's on to the semifinals for a rematch of last year's title game, which the Dolphins won 61-54. But their bid to repeat was marred by four SCISAA Region 3-AAA losses -- two apiece to the Chargers and Pinewood Prep, which likely awaits the winner in Saturday's championship game.
"There's a lot of pressure on us," Sulek said. "Everybody expects us to win every game. We've set such a standard for ourselves that the expectations are state championships or nothing or it's a disappointing year.
"We'll be much better on Friday," Sulek added. "We've been here. Some of these kids, this is their sixth time they've been here."
VARSITY BOYS LACROSSE
Hilton Head High 15, Bishop England 4: Charlie Jackson scored five goals, and Clayton Reed made 10 saves to lead the Seahawks to a season-opening victory on the road.
Hayden Lovette added three goals, and Will Hagins, Erik Rzeczycki and John Ferree scored two goals apiece. Ferree also had a team-high two assists.
The Seahawks (1-0) play at Irmo on Friday.