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Beaufort Academy Girls’ Basketball Focused On Playoff Run

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Beaufort—As the only Class A team competing in a five- member AA basketball region, Beaufort Academy (10-3, 0-2) is less concerned about their region record, but more concerned about where they are seeded when the playoffs begin next month in the Class A ranks.

The Lady Eagles, head coached by Lillian Aldred, were seeded first among the 8 Lower State teams who met at Porter-Gaud in mid- February last year at the start of the playoffs. “We defeated St. Johns Christian Academy in the first game, beat Richard Winn in the second game, and then we were disappointed to lose to Patrick Henry in the semi-finals with the winner going on to play for the state title,” said Coach Aldred. “This year we know that our region is strong competing against teams like Hilton Head Christian, so we know that playing tough teams prepares us for a playoff run later.”

Coach Aldred feels her team can win a Class A girl’s title this season. “First of all, our team has a great work ethic and they never give up and they will fight you to the bitter end,” she said. “We love to run the floor and we are a strong defensive team. We just need to find a way to take care of business once the playoffs start on February 15th.”

The team is led by 5-10 junior Amelia Huebel at 17.5 points and 11 rebounds a game. The hard working Huebel, an all-state and Player of the Year candidate, had seven steals against Hilton Head Christian in a recent game. Junior point guard Emily Ann Hiers is next on the scoring index at 9.2 points, 3.1 steals, 3.4 deflections, and 3.7 steals. Freshman shooting guard Mary Hanna Hiers is averaging 8.3 points and 3.8 assists a game.

Past these three starters Coach Aldred said she rotates her starting line-up among several players. Sophomore Maeve Kalady has been really consistent as a shooting guard and she has just returned from an injury. Junior center Emma Melville is out with a knee injury and is expected back at a later date. Sophomore forward Shanese Bostick sees a lot playing time along with sophomore forward Riley Gates.

The Beaufort Academy girls won the “Beaufort Academy Classic” over the Christmas Holidays overcoming a three-point deficit at the half to Catredral to go on and win by 30 points with a great second half effort. They also showed great effort in a four loss to John Paul II (54-50) recently.

 

 

Tough Schedule In “AA” Should Prepare Beaufort Academy Boys For Strong Play-off Run In Class A

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Beaufort—By playing a tough and highly competitive 10 team SCISA “AA region schedule do not be surprised at all if the Beaufort Academy (8-5) boys basketball team makes a run in the upcoming playoffs when they compete as a Class A team.

“We have played a very tough schedule against AA teams and we feel like we should be very competitive competing against Class A teams once the playoffs start,” said veteran head coach Nate Livesay who has valuable experience coaching at both Sumter and Beaufort High in the public-school ranks before takin over the program this year.

As of January 12th, the Eagles were (8-5, 0-2) and just getting most of their team back to full strength with talented junior Dawson Coleman missing three weeks of the season (returned Jan. 4th) with an ankle injury. The other break the team is hoping to get is the return of injured David Mathai once the playoffs start. Mathai is a power forward/center type who would fit in well with the 6-5 Coleman and the other team’s inside big man Thomas Holliday.

With this trio all heathy Beaufort Academy could certainly make a run in the Class A playoffs. Cathedral, a top team in Class A, along with 15-0 Clarendon Hall, only beat the Eagles 54-47 earlier in the season.

Coleman and Jaylen Reeves are leading the team in scoring as of January 15th with around 17 points each per game. Elijah Fess is averaging 12.5 points a game. Coleman leads the rebounding index at 10.1 a game followed by Holliday at 7.4 and Fess at 6.5. Reeves leads the team in assists at 3.8 per game and in steals at 4.4 an outing. Coleman is averaging 2.2 blocked shots a game.

On December 12th Beaufort Academy lost to Faith Christian by one point with four starters out with injuries. “We now have everyone back except David Mathai and we may or may not get him back by the end of the season, but he would be a welcome addition to the line-up I can assure you,” said Coach Livesay. “He could be a good force on the boards for us.”

In region action thus far in January the Eagles have lost to John Paul II by four and by six points to Hilton Head Christian. “We competed well in both of these games against AA teams, so I feel like we will well-prepared for the playoffs having played some really good teams during the regular season,” said Coach Livesay. “We are getting better every time we play.”

Beaufort Academy will be at Thomas Heyward on January 22nd, play at John Paul II on the 25th, host Hilton Head Christian on the 28th and then close out the month hosting Holy Trinity on the 31st.

“All our games are key at this point of the season,” said Coach Livesay. “All our remaining games are region games. We are just focused at getting better in every practice and in every game.”

Some other players starting or contributing include sophomore post player Kevin Rogers and freshman guard Kaishawn Jenkins. “I have been impressed with Kaishawn’s steady improvement over the season and his strong work ethic,” said Coach Livesay. “He is making shots that have helped us out a lot lately.”

Fess starts most of the time at a wing position and sophomore point guard Ja’sean Lawson is one of the first players off the bench for the Eagles. “Lawson is really quick and plays good defense,” said Coach Livesay.

Holliday is a force under the basket and he is a good scorer in the paint. “He rebounds well under the basket and he is a force for us on defense,” said Coach Livesay.

Coach Livesay describes Dawson as a great player both inside and out and his role varies based on the team being played. “Dawson can play the wing or go inside and handle the post and either way he is very effective,” said Coach Livesay. “He is our best playmaker when we have to have a basket. He

Coach Livesay said Reeves made a clutch free throw against Hilton Head Christian to send the game into over-time. “We had our chances to win that game and his clutch free throw was right on time,” said Coach Livesay. “We like playing in such a strong region. It should get us ready to do well in the playoffs.”

A few other players on the team contributing include sophomore post player Kevin Rogers, 6-8 sophomore Malachia Rodriquez, 8th grade guard Braydon Dineen, freshman guard Jack Carter Worrell, and freshman forward Brandon Trapp.

Coach Livesay is assisted by BA athletic director Nick Field, Luke Rudy, Patrick Johnson and Ryle Owens.

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