Hilton Head Christian’s boys came in Saturday night desperately needing a region win — and they got it, along with a bit of revenge.
Sparked by a dialed-in 20-point game from Jace Blackshear and a breakout night from freshman Isaiah Anderson, Travis Priddy’s squad put it all together at both ends of the floor, defeating Beaufort Academy 46-33 at Island Rec Center.
The home team came out flying from the jump, opening the game on a remarkable 10-0 run. Anderson’s domination on the glass began right away, as the freshman rebounded a missed shot and sank a putback to open the scoring. Then speedy guard Andrew Helms delivered, storming to the hoop and converting the and-one to grow the early lead.
HHCA’s team defense brought it all night long, confusing BA with double-teams and locking down on ball-handlers to force myriad turnovers.
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The visitors halted the run with a Braydon Dineen triple to cut the deficit to 10-3 after a quarter, but the second period was all Blackshear, as the HHCA junior delivered for a nine-point frame to help extend the lead.
The star quarterback of the state champion football team started the quarter with a three-pointer, getting the hometown roll after the ball struck iron and bounced back through the basket. He took the momentum and ran with it, scoring two more on a strong take to the rim.
Then Anderson got the crowd on their feet, landing a thunderous dunk to cap off a 7-0 run. After BA’s Ben Frey answered with a three-point splash at the other end, Blackshear continued his strong night, drawing fouls and knocking down shots at the line along with support from a monster Anderson and-one putback to give HHCA a commanding 25-11 halftime lead.
Beaufort Academy made an early statement out of halftime with a Sully Gay corner three before a full-court press resulted in some steals and a Dineen stepback jumper to cut the lead to nine. But HHCA responded with some beautiful team basketball. Anderson took a perfect inbounds pass to the hoop, and senior night star Quinn Ryan found Blackshear for an and-one on another inbounds play to reestablish a double-digit advantage. The Ben-Ben Train looked to get the engine running late as VanHise found Frey for a corner three to cut the lead back to under 10, but Blackshear nailed a pair of foul shots to go into the fourth up 37-26.
The fourth quarter was the Isaiah Anderson show, as the freshman exploded for two more sensational dunks, putting an exclamation mark on a night to remember. Anderson used his elite quickness and strength to drive from the corner and stuff in a two-handed hammer slam before another beauty sent the crowd into a frenzy. He thought about another one, but the freshman decided to go with a simple layup to cap off a six-point surge, putting the game to bed. Beaufort Academy hung around all night until the final minutes but couldn’t make the big shots and struggled to control the ball.
Anderson wowed the fans with his amazing athleticism all night, backing up Blackshear’s 20 with 17 points. Helms scored four points to match JP Peduzzi, who was honored alongside fellow senior Quinn Ryan prior to the contest.
Frey scored eight points to lead Beaufort Academy.
Hilton Head Christian (6-10, 3-6) hosts Colleton Prep on Wednesday night.
Beaufort Academy (5-8, 1-3) gets a home rematch with Hilton Head Prep on Monday.
Written by Wes Kerr / Cover photo by Justin Jarrett