Last month, Hilton Head Christian Academy’s football program closed the book on their island home with a memorable win. On Friday night, the school’s hoops dynasty did the same.
Senior star Dior Shelton dominated with 19 points, and the Eagles used a strong second-half surge to beat Hilton Head Prep 47-31 in the final girls’ crosstown rivalry game. It was the last hurrah for their home gym, ending an amazing 41-year history as the Eagles prepare to move to their Bluffton campus.
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Kenny Conroy’s squad made a strong defensive statement early, holding the Dolphins to just two points in the opening quarter. The Eagles took advantage of several trips to the stripe to kickstart the offense, but Prep’s defense disrupted the home team’s efforts to find quality shots, keeping the Dolphins in the game. After finding themselves down 10-2, a determined Prep squad limited a dangerous HHCA offense to five points in the second quarter, and Avery Brothers provided a spark to cut the lead to just six at halftime.
But it was the Eagles that came out soaring after the break, dominating the third quarter 12-4 on the strength of Shelton and Mary Yanker winning the battles in the paint and on the boards. The HHCA bigs outmatched a tough Dolphin defense, but Dan Sheehan’s side fought to the very end. Abi Mendoza fought her way to the rim several times to earn free throws and Haley Majors stepped up with several buckets, capped off by a beautiful fast-break layup.
Both teams ramped up the offense in the final quarter as Ella Clark’s hot shooting touch brought the Dolphins a late flurry of points, but the Shelton and the Eagles were just too much, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter to send off their longtime fieldhouse.
Shelton led the Eagles with 19 points, as HHCA completed their fourth game in just five days. Yanker put up 11 points and was a beast on the boards, and sensational freshman guard Devon Yarde added eight. Molly Smith chipped in six points for the unbeaten Eagles.
Clark led the Dolphins with 10 points. Mendoza put up eight in an outstanding effort, and Majors scored seven.
HHCA (5-0) travels to face Bulloch Academy on Dec. 15. Hilton Head Prep (1-1) hosts Pinewood Prep next Friday.
Written by Wes Kerr / Photo courtesy of Hilton Head Prep
Wes Kerr is a graduate of Hilton Head Island High School and Davidson College. He has a passion for statistics and analytics.