Ben Lippen closed out a successful first month of the boys baseball season on a bit of a down note. The Falcons (9-3) dropped a 59-51 decision to Hilton Head Christian on Wednesday in the final game of their own New Year’s Blast tournament – a decision that snapped a seven-game winning streak.
BL never fully recovered from an 18-7 first-quarter deficit, though it did close within six points of the Eagles in the fourth quarter on a four-point play by Gabe Smith. In the end, the Falcons simply could not overcome the poor first-half performance. Ben Lippen managed just 15 shots from the field in the opening 16 minutes.
Mitchell Deter was the offensive leader with 17 points. Deter scored 14 of BL’s 16 first-half points and all of his scoring from the field came on five 3-pointers. Chad Burnett finished with 12 points, and Smith chipped in 10.
HHC avenged a 79-62 loss to BL earlier this month at the Ret Thomas Memorial Tournament in Hilton Head.
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On Tuesday, the Falcons opened the tournament with wins over Richard Winn Academy (79-41) and Thomas Sumter Academy.
Deter had 20 points, six assists and four steals, Burnett had 15 points and three assists and Drew Fraley contributed 14 points and eight rebounds vs. RWA. Deter, Derek Snelgrove and Fraley had the big numbers in the win over TSA. Deter fired in 21 points, Snelgrove posted 19 points and six rebounds and Fraley scored 10. Burnett had just three points, but dished out nine assists and grabbed six rebounds to share the team lead with Snelgrove. Deter has hot from beyond the arc in the three tournament games, canning 13 of 23 attempts from 3-point range.
To date, Deter is averaging 19.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.9 steals a game, and is 42% from 3-point range (37-for-86) and 74% at the free-throw line (42-for-57). Otherwise, Snelgrove is averaging 11.8 points per game and Fraley is at 9.9 point and 6.0 rebounds. Burnett is averaging 7.9 points and 3.9 assists. Smith leads the team in rebounding, averaging 6.6 retrieves a game.
Ben Lippen returns to action on Jan. 5 at Laurence Manning Academy and returns home on Jan. 8 to face Heathwood Hall in the SCISA Region 1-3A opener.