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When Beaufort High School's boys cut the Goose Creek lead to six late in the third quarter, it looked like the Eagles had a shot.
But the Gators shut the door on the Eagles and went on to a 63-38 win Wednesday night in the first round of the Class 4-A basketball playoffs.
The Eagles (14-10) trailed by nine at the half.
"We were right in the game, all throughout," Beaufort coach Bruce Beasley said. "We fought back, cut it to six and the guys gave an outstanding effort physically. But mentally, we had too many unforced errors. Twenty-seven turnovers, poor choices and bad decision-making. That basically was it in a nutshell."
Anthony White led the way for Beaufort with nine points and three rebounds. Keion Marshall added eight, and Kendrick Colvin scored seven with 15 rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Thomas Parker had nine rebounds and a steal.
Dantez Bennamon scored 21 to lead Goose Creek (19-4). Chris Singleton and Shaquille Patrick each added 11.
"I'm proud of the way the boys fought tonight," Beasley said. "We hung tough, and in the end it just got away from us. But overall, for three quarters, we were right there with them. I'm proud. The guys played hard and left it all on the floor."
The Eagles came into the season with just one returning starter and a team made up mostly of kids who played JV the season before.
"We played six sophomores, a lot of youth and inexperience. We knew that going in," Beasley said. "I was glad to make the playoffs so we could experience a playoff atmosphere. We can grow and develop from this point on. There's nothing to be ashamed of. Our guys can walk away with their heads held high."