In order to make their claim for the SCISA 3A playoffs, the Hilton Head Prep Dolphins needed a statement win. They got it done in style Friday night.
Led by a monster 21-point outing from sophomore Kane Eanes, the Dolphins put four in double figures and shut down a dangerous Beaufort Academy attack, annihilating the visiting Eagles 61-21 to grab their sixth straight victory.
“We’ve been practicing all season for nights like this,” Eanes said. “Coach has been saying if we keep playing like this and keep our heads up, we’re gonna have a bright future.”
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Hilton Head Prep was on a mission right from the tip and put together a blazing offensive start. Point guard Jayden Chance got the night going with a bucket at the rim before Ryan Mikell caught fire from deep. The junior put on a shooting clinic, draining a trio of three-pointers to catapult his squad to a 15-2 start. JJ Hayes had his way grabbing boards, scoring in the paint, and rejecting bids at the other end, but the Eagles showed a spark late in the period with a bucket from Sully Gay and a three-pointer by Ben Frey to pull to within 10.
The Dolphins put the pedal to the metal in the second.
Mikell passed the baton over to Eanes, who exploded for nine points in the period. The sensational sophomore showcased his variety of skills, navigating his way to the rim to stop a BA run before nailing a long triple himself. Jerry Faulkner’s squad was deadly on the defensive side, denying any bids in the paint, forcing numerous turnovers, and cleaning up on the glass to surge ahead on a 15-3 run.
Eanes continued his unstoppable play in the third quarter, scoring eight of his team’s 12 in the period as the defense continued to frustrate their opponents. Frey nailed his second three of the night to open the half, but the Eagles couldn’t find a consistent scoring outlet or solve a high-energy and hard-working Dolphin unit.
Eanes continued to power his way past the defense and finish with authority at the rim, and Chance fed off of his defensive effort, snatching the ball away and laying in easy buckets. Hayes polished off a tremendous all-around team performance, dropping the dagger with nine fourth-quarter points before Eanes capped his phenomenal night with a corner three.
Eanes matched Beaufort Academy himself, scoring 21 points along with three rebounds and three steals. Hayes put together another brilliant outing on both ends of the court, finishing with 15 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and three blocks.
Chance excelled on his Senior Night, scoring 12 to go along with six assists and five steals. Mikell lit it up from deep on his way to an 11-point game. Senior Luke Foley was a rebounding force all night long, and fellow honoree Harrison Green gave the Dolphins hard-fought minutes to help grab the lead.
Sully Gay led Beaufort Academy with seven points in the Eagles’ first game since Dec. 21.
Hilton Head Prep (11-2) gets a home rematch with Bethesda Academy on Tuesday night.
BA (6-6, 0-1) hosts John Paul II on Tuesday.
Written by Wes Kerr / Photo by Shanese Bostick