In their first game back in nearly a month, Beaufort Academy’s girls concocted a defensive masterpiece Friday night. Mike’Ala Washington and Tahleea Heyward put up 13 each, and the Eagles’ defense stymied Hilton Head Prep on the road in a 40-26 victory in their first region contest of the season.
Beaufort Academy raced out of the starting blocks, grabbing a 10-3 lead after the first quarter. Four different BA scorers chipped in during the opening period, including Washington with an early three-ball.
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The Dolphins looked like they were on their way back after a pair of buckets from Haley Majors, but BA took full control to end the half. The Eagles employed a full-court press to perfection, forcing a flurry of Hilton Head Prep mistakes to open a remarkable 13-0 run lasting through the majority of the third quarter. Heyward banged home a three to stretch the lead before Washington punctuated a strong first half with an uncontested drive to the hoop as the clock expired, giving the Eagles a 10-point halftime lead.
The suffocating defense continued in the second half, as BA’s hustle all around the court turned into steal after steal. Washington’s quickness and fast hands were on display all night, forcing takeaways and setting up numerous opportunities for herself and her teammates. The stelar sophomore dropped a dazzling dime to Heyward for the finish inside before another forced turnover set up a layup of her own.
Shanese Bostick put on a show in the third quarter, faking out a defender and taking the rock to the hole to highlight a five-point period and give the Eagles a commanding 32-12 lead. Haylee Hopman provided a spark for the Dolphins with a trio of three-pointers late, but the scoring drought in the middle frames was far too much to overcome.
Bostick scored a huge eight points to support Washington and Heyward’s matching 13s, and Mary Hanna Hiers added four. Hopman led the way for Hilton Head Prep with nine points. Sami Heginbottom, who was honored after the game for Senior Night, added three points.
Hilton Head Prep (4-7) travels to Colleton Prep on Friday.
Beaufort Academy (6-5, 1-0) hosts John Paul II on Tuesday.
Written by Wes Kerr