HSBBB: Eagles rout CPA, credit oranges – yes, oranges

The oranges are doing the trick for Beaufort Academy boys basketball. The citrus-fueled Eagles rolled to a 71-8 win at Colleton Prep on Tuesday to remain undefeated in region play heading into a showdown with Hilton Head Prep.

Sully Gay scored 15 points, Braydon Dineen added 14, and Eddy Gonzalez had eight in a balanced effort for the Eagles, but coach Nick Field gave all the credit to the oranges — and the woman who provides them.

“She doesn’t show up in the stat sheet, but we could not be successful without Kay Keeler,” Field said. “Every game she prepares and prays over oranges for the boys. They keep us safe and keep us strong.”

It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the Eagles take their citrus seriously. Keeler, who is Dineen’s grandmother, takes requests — mandarins, clementines, navals, you name it — and delivers the oranges well before game time, peeled and individually bagged. 

BA will power through the fruit before, during, and after the game, and given the current surge of the Omicron variant, you can never have too much Vitamin C.

“The kids believe they give us special powers,” Field said. “Literally won’t play without them.” 

Keeler will surely have a big bag at the ready Friday, as BA (23-4, 2-0) hosts Hilton Head Prep in a matchup of two of the region’s projected frontrunners.

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