Hilton Head Prep’s girls basketball team caused its share of havoc on defense Tuesday night, but Hilton Head Christian Academy was even better at the defensive end and Skylar Smith scored 11 of her game-high 14 points to help the Eagles pull away for a 44-27 home win over their archrival.
The Eagles were not at their sharpest, and HHP’s stifling pressure defense had a lot to do with it. The Dolphins frustrated HHCA in the half-court set for much of the evening and clawed within single digits in the second half, but HHP couldn’t consistently find open looks against a stiff HHCA defense.
“Hats off to HHCA, they were the better team tonight,” HHP coach Phillip Hartman said. “Skylar Smith and Abby Peduzzi are easily the most underrated players on that team. What they do for that team can’t be quantified on a stat sheet. Players win games and tough players win. Peduzzi and Smith are tough.”
It was Peduzzi and frontcourt mate Jai’da Grayson who did the damage in the first half, as Peduzzi scored all eight of her points before the break and Grayson put up six of her eight in the first half to help HHCA build a 24-12 lead. Prep’s pressure kept the Eagles from pulling away, though, and the Dolphins held HHCA to just one field goal in the third quarter to claw back within nine.
Then Smith went to work. The senior and Minot State (N.D.) commit splashed back-to-back 3-pointers off kick-outs from the post to start the quarter, ballooning the lead to 35-20. She knocked down another triple and converted a pair of free throws later to help HHCA hold off any hope of a rally.
Smith led all scorers with 14 points along with five rebounds and four assists, while Tamya Hutchinson matched Peduzzi and Grayson with eight points and grabbed eight boards for HHCA. Peduzzi pulled down nine rebounds, and Grayson had eight.
Katie Campbell scored 10 points to lead the Dolphins, while Annie Braun added seven, and Courtney Campbell and Ella Clark were instrumental in holding the three-time defending SCISA 2A champion Eagles well below their season average of 61.3 points.
HHCA (10-1, 3-0) hosts John Paul II on Friday, while HHP (6-4, 0-1) travels to Beaufort Academy in a pair of key region matchups.
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