LANGLEY — The standing around – watching, even – on defense and offense, the breakdowns on fastbreak layups and the sloppy turnovers were not what Midland Valley coach Mark Snelgrove was used to seeing.
But the Mustangs struggled during important junctures to fall to Hilton Head, 60-50, Tuesday night in the first round of the South Carolina Class AAA state playoffs.
“We were in the wrong spot a lot tonight,” Snelgrove said after the game. “I’m very disappointed. When we play well we can play with most teams, but we didn’t play well tonight.”
Midland Valley (17-10) trailed for most of the night, with Aaron Frazier and Jacob Coltrane knocking down open 3s and Frazier converting close looks late in the game to ensure the Seahawks would win.
Early on, Frazier was the spark, scoring eight of the game’s first 10 points as Hilton Head led by as much as 10 in the first quarter.
Frazier, who had 19 points, took over late, racing by the Mustangs for two transition scores and then getting another layup to break it open.
While Hilton Head was getting shots near the basket, Midland Valley was slumping. Shots were off toward the back rim and some Seahawks players made steals. Then, with the Mustangs going from up 44-43 to down 55-46, they needed a flurry of points. But Hilton Head guarded the 3-point line well enough and more shots were off.
The loss followed a season where Midland Valley matched Strom Thurmond for the top region record. However, though the Mustangs took the lead for the first time halfway through the third quarter on a Jaquan Hall 3-pointer, after Kameron Brown followed a Hilton Head turnover with a score for two of his 14 points, the Seahawks went on an 8-0 run to go up 51-44.
“I didn’t want to hammer on the bad too much,” Snelgrove said. “We set some history and set the standard higher for those coming up.”