West Florence’s pinpoint offense and smothering defense was too much for the host Beaufort Eagles on Saturday night at Beaufort High. Pictured here is Beaufort’s James Dennnison going up for two points while West Florence’s Dashaun Bridges blocks the shot from behind and steals the ball. The Knights won, 92-78. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Knights outlast Beaufort in frenzied playoff clash 


Beaufort High boys basketball rallied from a 20-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles ran into foul trouble and a talented West Florence team closed it out at the foul line for a frenetic 92-78 win to end Beaufort’s season in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. 

James Dennison scored 21 points, Jake Alvarez added 19, and Zyrin Odom contributed 17 in their final game at Beaufort, and Michael Dennison added 14 for the Eagles — but James Dennison was the only one of the quartet still on the floor at the end. 

Plagued by foul trouble all night, Jeremy Huff’s team put together a scrappy effort to dig out of a huge hole and briefly took the lead at 67-66 early in the fourth quarter, but West Florence scored five quick points to regain control. The Eagles got back within two, but a 7-0 run from the Knights made it an uphill climb, and then Beaufort’s foul problems came home to roost. 

The Knights were on fire in the first half, going up by nine after one quarter and using a 20-9 spurt to stretch it to a 20-point margin with less than three minutes left in the half. But the Eagles dug in and Alvarez scored 11 second-quarter points with James Dennison adding seven in the period to chip the deficit down to 50-38 at halftime. 

Beaufort did a better job of defending the perimeter in the second half, holding the Knights without a 3-pointer after they knocked down five before the break. Odom and Michael Dennison heated up in the third, as each scored three buckets, and Alvarez matched them with six points in the quarter as the Eagles surged within three going to the fourth. 

But all three fouled out in the fourth along with reserve forward Davis Willis, leaving the Eagles with a skeleton crew down the stretch. James Dennison scored eight more points in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles were out of gas, and the Knights iced it with a prolific performance from the foul line, going 31-for-42 overall, including 14-of- 20 in the fourth quarter. 

Deuce Hudson scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the first half, while Darren Lloyd added 18, Bryson Graves scored 14, and Valerian Bruce had 13 for West Florence. 

Beaufort finished the season with a 15-6 record and won its first region title since 2016. West Florence (23-3) travels to North Augusta for a Lower State semifinal matchup Thursday. 

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