Patriots hoping to claim runner-up spot
The Fort Dorchester boys avenged a prior loss to Bluffton, handing the Bobcats a 65-54 loss Tuesday in North Charleston.
The game marked the final home game of the regular season for the Patriots.
“It was senior night so we had to get this victory,” Fort senior Eric Hayward said. “This may be our last home game so we really wanted it. We were hungry.”
Fort Dorchester could host a first-round playoff game if it closes out the final week of the region schedule strong. Summerville has claimed the region championship but Fort Dorchester, Bluffton and Beaufort are all tied for second in the standings. The Patriots need to win their final game at Summerville and have a favorable outcome to Bluffton’s final game with Beaufort in order to secure the No. 2 seed for the playoffs.
The Fort seniors led the way Tuesday as Hayward scored a game-high 22 points and Dimitri Carter scored 17. Junior William Munoz added 10 points for the Patriots, which improved to 14-5 on the season with a 6-3 mark in region play with the win.
Hayward scored 9 points in the opening period to help the Patriots to a 16-12 lead. Carter and Reese both scored 5 in the second and the Fort took a 31-27 lead into the half.
The Patriots doubled their lead in the third, but Bluffton hit some key shots early in the fourth to cut the lead to 5. Then the Patriot defense held tight and Hayward hit 5 of 6 free throws to put the game out of reach.
Summerville hosts Fort Dorchester at 8 p.m. Feb. 17 to close out the regular season.