Shandi Brown was tired of her Colleton County girls basketball team coming up on the short end of close games. But at Hilton Head High on Friday night, she rewrote the script — and willed her Cougars to a season-changing road win.
Brown dominated a tough Seahawk defense with 32 points, and the Cougars beat the Seahawks 58-51 to give a huge lift to their Class 4A playoff hopes.
It was a back-and-forth contest throughout the first half, as both offenses found ways to produce with drives to the basket and free-throw opportunities at the line. Brown was the catalyst for a dynamic Colleton County offensive attack, scoring five points in the second period with her terrific motor and shooting ability from the stripe.
The Seahawks kept pace with the visitors as the first half drew to a close, as a five-point quarter from point guard Deja Godsun alongside a pair of hard-earned buckets from Alandria Kennedy kept the score knotted at 23 going into halftime.
Both sides knew the start of the third quarter would be pivotal, and Colleton County seized the momentum, opening the period on an 8-2 run to grab a six-point lead. But the Seahawks struck back with tough defensive intensity and hot shooting from the outside. Lynda Young floated an inbounds pass through the hoop, and Hope Dobbelaere banged in a three from the outside before Alex Fisher stepped up with a huge triple to give her team a 33-31 lead.
The Cougars quickly responded to end the period, cashing in at the stripe to regain a slim 35-34 advantage going into the fourth. Hilton Head High held the deficit to just a point with under four minutes to play, as dueling stars Brown and Young continued to trade buckets at the free-throw line. Despite having key starter Makayla Chisolm foul out down the stretch, Colleton County executed brilliantly on both ends to close the game on a 13-8 run and seal a tremendous road win. Brown and Bethany Monroe were clutch at the line in the fourth, draining 12-of-16 free throws to keep the Seahawks from mounting a late comeback.
Brown put up a phenomenal showing for the Cougars, pouring in 32 points including 13 in the final period. Chisholm put up an important 14, and Monroe scored seven of her 11 points in the fourth quarter. Godsun led Hilton Head High with 13 points, and Young added 11.
Colleton County (11-8, 3-5) faces another big road test Tuesday at James Island. Hilton Head High (7-11, 2-5) begins a home-and-home series at May River on Tuesday before hosting the Sharks on Wednesday.
By Wes Kerr
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