By Brackin Lambert
Rashard Baker and Jordon Rivers each scored nine points, but Battery Creek shot only 22 percent from the field and Bishop England stayed atop the Region 8-3A standings with a 48-32 win over the host Dolphins on Friday night at the Palace.
“It’s mind-blowing, a tough loss like this,” Creek coach CJ Brown said. “We didn’t play our best tonight and Bishop England, they came to play. I think we shot the ball a little bit too much tonight, becoming dependent on it and that was the only thing we could do.”
Just three nights earlier, the Dolphins picked up a big region win, beating visiting Hanahan 61-46 as three players scored in double digits. David Smith scored 17 points to go with three steals, and Jaeon Allen and Kaya George each posted double-doubles to lead the Dolphins.
Allen racked up 15 points, 11 rebounds, six steals, and five assists in a monster effort, while George had his best game of the season with 11 points, 10 boards, and two steals.
But the Dolphins had no such luck against the top-ranked Bishops.
Bishop England started on a 9-0 run before Creek got on the board with Allen’s bucket, but the errant shots continued to hinder the offense. The Battling Bishops led 11-6 after one. Freshman Talon Lee collected all three of his points in Battery Creek’s six-point second period.
Battery Creek’s defense started off strong in the second half, keeping Bishop England off the board in the opening minutes. But the offense had trouble driving to the basket which caused the urge to start taking highly contested shots. The 22% from the floor was the lowest this season for the Dolphins, who were 2-for-17 from 3-point range.
With only two teams qualifying for this year’s playoff spots, every game counts, especially those against the teams sitting atop the standings.
“We’re only accepting one or two (teams for the playoffs),” Brown said. “This is what they’re going to see. They aren’t going to see three or four teams like last year. We have to go in and play on that level as a top team.”
Dolphins let late lead slip away vs. Bishops
After grinding out a tough 46-40 win over visiting Hanahan in Region 8-3A play Tuesday, Battery Creek’s girls couldn’t maintain the momentum in a 48-36 loss to Bishop England on Friday at the Palace.
Myra Smith came off the bench and scored 10 points while Noni Singleton and Kiara Wilson each posted nine, but the Dolphins lost a lead late in the third quarter and couldn’t recover.
“Very tough loss,” said coach Lonnie Kluttz. “That’s a win we should’ve had. We’re definitely improving and the girls played very well. A few mistakes here and there but definitely an improvement.”
After Bishop England opened on a 9-0 run to open the game, Creek’s defense came into play, only allowing four points the remainder of the opening quarter. The Dolphins’ first three points all came from the charity stripe before Singleton kissed one off the glass for the first field goal of the night.
BC’s defense continued to press the ball during quarter two, forcing six BEHS turnovers while outscoring the Bishops 5-4, closing the gap to three at the half.
The Dolphins took their first lead of the evening after Singleton drilled home a triple from the wing, making the score 20-19. She drained a second moments later to increase the lead. But the Bishop England went on an 18-3 run over an eight-minute span to take a commanding 14-point lead with just over four minutes to play.
Creek cut into the lead late in the fourth, but BE’s Ally Dominiak connected on both ends of a one-and-one to push the lead to 12.
“We can’t continue to shoot 30% from the field, 30% from the free-throw line,” said Kluttz. “So we are constantly working on our shots and we’re getting better.”
In the win over Hanahan, Iesha Shaw, Ashante Shaw, and Sophia Felix each scored nine points to lead the way for the Dolphins, while Carolina Alvarez added eight points, Wilson had six, and Singleton chipped in five.