Rashard Baker scored 16 points and Jordon Rivers sunk a clutch 3-pointer with just under a minute to play to give Battery Creek’s boys a 51-48 win at Colleton County to open the season Tuesday.
Baker, a Ridgeland-Hardeeville transfer, scored 16 points to lead the way for the Dolphins, while Beaufort High transfer David Smith added 11 and Rivers had 10, including the dagger down the stretch. The Dolphins’ defense held the Cougars off in the final seconds to send Battery Creek home with a victory.
“We feel great. We were down by nine and even though we were down we still came back and fought,” second-year Dolphins coach CJ Brown said. “You can’t ask anymore out of your team than that.”
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Kaya George added eight points for the Dolphins, who shot 45 percent from the field.
“Those two guys (Baker and Smith) are seniors and what I tell my seniors is this is your last first game,” Brown said. “Play at the level you want to get to. And those guys played extremely hard and played together. I’ve got three seniors who look pretty good right now.”
The Cougars jumped out to an early 17-4 lead in the first quarter before Baker collected seven of his team-high points during the opening quarter. Battery Creek was down 30-21 at the half, but the Dolphins came out firing on all cylinders to open the second half. George opened the half scoring four of his eight points early in the frame.
BCHS trimmed the Cougars’ lead to 42-37 entering the fourth quarter and kept chipping away until Rivers drilled his game-deciding triple from the top of the key, giving the Dolphins their first lead since the opening minutes. Baker followed with a three of his own a few moments later to extend the lead. The Cougars battled to the final seconds and sent up a potential game-tying 3-pointer with one second left, but it caromed off the iron to end the game.
“It shows that we can play a whole 32 minutes and no matter the score at halftime we can always fight back,” Brown said.
Battery Creek continues its season-opening road stretch Friday, traveling to crosstown rival Whale Branch. However the Warriors will look much different this year without former stars Nick Pringle and Shawn Chisolm in the lineup.
“I still look forward to a fight. I think all games at Whale Branch are a dog fight,” Brown said. “But I’m looking forward to us being that team that can handle the pressure a lot better this year. And even when we’re in a dog fight we’ll play within ourselves and within our game.”
Story by Brackin Lambert