HSBBB: Dolphins dodge Swampfoxes’ crafty upset bid

HSBBB: Dolphins dodge Swampfoxes’ crafty upset bid

Hilton Head Prep boys basketball went into the SCISA 3A state tournament averaging more than 65 points per game and boasting a lineup loaded with matchup problems. So Laurence Manning Academy tried to turn its first-round matchup with the Dolphins on its head.

The Dolphins outfoxed the Swampcats’ strategy to shorten the game, as JJ Hayes scored all of his game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and HHP held Laurence Manning to seven field goals and sealed it at the foul line in a 27-22 overtime win in a wacky opening-round game.

The Swampcats held the ball for the entirety of the first quarter as HHP sat in a 2-3 zone and the period ended without any scoring. There wasn’t much more action in the second quarter, as the Dolphins took a 5-4 lead into halftime.

It was more of the same in the second half, with rare fits of action and sporadic scoring opportunities, ultimately going to overtime after Hayes secured an offensive rebound and scored on a putback with 39.5 seconds left to tie it at 18.

With a couple of buckets in overtime, the Dolphins put the Swampcats in chase mode, and HHP repeatedly found its way to the foul line and converted down the stretch to hold on.

Hayes scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 5-of-5 from the line with six rebounds, while Sean Cusano added five points with nine rebounds, two steals, and two assists for the Dolphins.

HHP (21-3) faces Cardinal Newman (12-15) in the second round at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sumter Civic Center.

Photo by Susan Hayes

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