Patriots keep things interesting in Region 8-AAAA
After last weekend’s action, the Region 8-AAAA championship on the boys’ side is anyone’s to take.
Fort Dorchester avenged a prior loss to Beaufort Friday, handing the Eagles a 48-41 loss in North Charleston. The third time was the charm for the Patriots, who fell to the Eagles in the championship game of the Modie Risher Invitational holiday tournament and in a region game at Beaufort Jan. 14.
“It was a battle,” Fort Dorchester coach Leon Wheaton said. “This was our third time playing them and all have been tight games. The boys showed a lot of heart tonight. Everybody in the region knows how important it is to protect your house this year. We did that just like they did at their place. This was a huge win and I can’t give our guys enough credit for the courage and heart they showed tonight.”
The Patriots improved to 12-4 with a 3-2 mark in the region roughly halfway through region play. The Eagles bounced back the next night by handing Bluffton its first region loss so the Eagles entered play this week at 16-4, 4-2 while the Bobcats entered the week at 13-4, 5-1 and barely ahead of Summerville (14-5, 4-1) in the region standings.
Wheaton changed the game plan for the third game against the Eagles.
“Beaufort is long team and a big team that can cause problems with their size, but I thought we really took advantage of our quickness tonight,” Wheaton said. “The first two times we played them we put our bigs in and it didn’t work out so good so we went guard heavy this time. That is our game anyway so we just played our game and challenged our guys to be great and they met that challenge.”
The Fort seniors provided their normal contributions as Dimitri Carter finished with a team-high 14 points. Some of the less experienced members of the team also had a big night.
“Eric Hayward gave the pre-game speech and did a great job of getting everyone pumped up,” Wheaton said. “That leadership is one of the many things we rely on him for. But I also challenged our younger guys tonight. James McFadden is a junior who was injured last year so he doesn’t have that much varsity experience but he stepped up. Ky Reese was a closer for us tonight. The last few games that young man has made some key plays late in the game.”
Reese hit a 3-point shot in the second, third and fourth periods. He also sank three free throws in the final 90 seconds to finish with 12 points.
Carter hit two field goals in each half and was 6 of 9 at the free-throw line with three of the free throws coming in the final three minutes. Carter, Hayward and William Munoz all forced turnovers in the final 2:30 of the game.
Kendrick Colvin scored 12 of his 17 game-high points for the Eagles in the first half, with 6 of the points coming off a pair of shots from behind the arc. Jawan Mack added 6 Beaufort points in the half. However, the Patriots limited their production in second half, holding the two Eagles to 5 and 4 points, respectively, in the final 16 minutes.
The Patriots have three games this week. They hosted Ashley Ridge Tuesday after press time.
On Friday, the Patriots travel to Colleton County and on Saturday they host Summerville for a game that was postponed due to last week’s Winter storm.
FORT DORCHESTER 48, BEAUFORT 41
Beaufort (41): Mack 10, Grant 3, Colvin 17, Johnson 4, Dixon 2, McClain 4, Gray 1.