Kevin Williams scored 30 points as Beaufort Academy rallied around news of coach Chip Dinkins’ emergency heart surgery Friday with one of its best outings this season, handing John Paul II just its second loss in a 70-68 decision.
Dinkins, last season’s Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette coach of the year, was taken into surgery early Friday to repair a tear in his aorta. He was showing gradual improvement Saturday morning, BA athletics director Neal McCarty said.
Assistant Izell Sutton ran the team, with a packed gym chanting “Chip, Chip, Chip” throughout the game. After the final buzzer, both teams come together at midcourt for a prayer circle on Dinkins’s behalf.
“It was an emotional game, and I’m very proud of the way our team handled the situation,” said McCarty, who stepped in to serve as an assistant coach.
Golden Warriors coach Stacy Benedik called the prayer circle “an incredible sight.”
Luke Harper scored 14 points and Dawson Coleman added 12 for the Eagles (6-2, 2-1 region). The difference came down to free throws, as Beaufort Academy connected on 12 of 18 attempts while JP2 made just seven of their 18 opportunities.
Rashad Battiste led the Golden Warriors (11-2, 1-2) with 28 points and 13 rebounds, while Karl Johnson contributed 23 points and eight rebounds.