After multiple postponements over the past three weeks, Will McCracken’s home debut at Hilton Head Island High School was certainly worth the wait.
The senior transfer wowed the fans with multiple highlight-reel dunks and tremendous blocks as the Seahawks pulled away in a sensational second half, defeating Savannah Country Day 70-55 Tuesday night.
“After coming off a loss and getting a game cancelled, it feels good,” McCracken said. “We knew they were going to play rough and play fast, so we just decided to stay poised and go with it.”
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It was a back-and-forth contest early, as McCracken and Sam Summa traded baskets with Paul Mosley, who was dialed in out of the gate with five quick points. The Seahawks excelled in moving the ball around and finding open shooters, as Adam Clark sank a three to build a six-point Seahawk advantage midway through the half. But Ethan Myers responded right away, earning and hitting a pair of free throws before knocking down a trey to put the visitors up by one.
The lead continued to change hands as the second quarter was coming to an end, but the ‘Hawks made some brilliant plays at the end of the half to snatch the momentum. A Jaylen Sneed slam fired up the crowd, and then the junior made another amazing play. Sneed delivered a beautiful backdoor feed to Alex Smith, who finished a layup and-one to put the Seahawks up six at halftime.
“Ball movement is very important”, McCracken said. “Getting the ball to move around and the team to play like that impresses a lot and gives you open shots at the rim and from three.”
Hilton Head picked up right where they left off after the break, and showed the crowd what their squad is capable of this year. Sneed continued to succeed in the paint, and Sam Summa drew fouls and cashed in with a perfect 4-of-4 at the free-throw line.
The Hornets kept fighting and clawed back to within just three points after Erik Brown sunk a triple, but a late third-quarter swing put the Seahawks in full control. A beautiful pass found a wide-open Clark for three before a Sam Summa alley-oop to McCracken brought the house down.
“In the locker room he said he was going to pass it to me,” McCracken said. “He just threw it up, and I went over to grab it and dunk it.”
The magic wasn’t finished, as junior Zac Morris heaved up a desperation corner three at the buzzer while being fouled that banked off the rim and in. The Curry-esque shot gave the ‘Hawks a 13-point lead, capping off a 14-4 run to end the period.
The fourth quarter was the McCracken show, as the UNC Wilmington recruit laid down another monster slam while swatting down Hornet shots on the other end. McCracken scored 12 including a thunderous dunk to punctuate a phenomenal night.
Savannah Country Day stayed within striking distance for the good part of the final period, but a late Seahawk flurry of foul shots and easy looks at the rim put the game on ice.
McCracken put up a home debut for the ages, dropping 28 points to lead all scorers. Summa also delivered a fantastic showing, continually winning in the post and knocking down foul shots to the tune of 13 points. Morris added seven points, including an amazing buzzer-beating three, and the duo of Sneed and Clark put up six each.
The Seahawks (2-1, 0-0) host Richmond Hill next Tuesday in a rematch of their only loss of the season.
Written by Wes Kerr / Photos by Brooke Simons