After years of dominance over their crosstown rivals, it was only fitting that Hilton Head Prep’s boys basketball team wrote the final chapter in Hilton Head Christian Academy’s longtime gym.
Kane Eanes poured in 19 points and JJ Hayes added 18 to lead four Dolphins in double figures as HHP rolled past HHCA 64-41 Friday night for their fourth win in as many games this season, and their last in Hilton Head’s crosstown private-school rivalry.
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“We’re very pleased to be 4-0,” HHP head coach Jerry Faulkner said. “We got out to a really slow start, we took too many threes at the start of the game. But any time you win on the road, you gotta be good.”
It was the final game ever played in HHCA’s gym, ending a 41-year run. The Eagles will soon begin their transition to their new campus in Bluffton.
Travis Priddy’s HHCA squad wanted to end their time in their classic fieldhosue on the right note, and they couldn’t have asked for a better start, coming out of the gates on a 9-3 run. Freshman Isaiah Anderson started out strong, using his impressive athleticism in the paint to pace his squad with five first-quarter points. But the Dolphins exploded in the second period, as the threes started to fall. Ryan Mikell sank two triples, and Eanes went 4-for-4 at the line to lead HHP to a 23-point quarter and a nine-point halftime advantage, but Andrew Helms’ hot shooting kept the Eagles in striking distance.
Then the Prep defense took over in the third. The Dolphins held HHCA without a field goal for the first five minutes of the second half, while Hayes got to work on the offensive end, powering past defenders to the rim to the tune of nine third-quarter points. The motion offense was humming after the slow start, and some sharp 3-point shooting gave way to some easy looks inside for Hayes. Helms continued to deliver offensively for the Eagles, but a cold spell for much of the third period left the home team in the dust late in the game.
“We stress all the time about getting off to a good start,” Faulkner said. “We had the lead and we talked about getting it into double figures, and I thought our kids played well.”
Eanes and Hayes paced the Dolphins, and the tandem of Mikell and Luke Foley put up 11 apiece. Foley led the charge in rebounding, giving his squad a tremendous advantage on the boards all night long.
Helms impressed for the Eagles, leading all scorers with 20 points on a trio of triples, along with a perfect 3-for-3 at the line. Sharpshooter Quinn Ryan also nailed three shots beyond the arc for nine points, and Anderson was a key asset in the paint, picking up seven points.
The Eagles were shorthanded in this contest, with JP Peduzzi participating in the SCISA North-South football all-star game and Jace Blackshear recovering from an injury.
Hilton Head Prep (4-0) hosts Pinewood Prep on Friday. Hilton Head Christian (1-1) travels to Bulloch Academy on Dec. 15.
Written by Wes Kerr / Photo courtesy of Hilton Head Prep