The Hanahan Hawks will have to have a full bag of confidence as they embark on a rugged region journey, starting soon. They took some steps forward in that regard over the Christmas break.

“We’re not where we need to be but we’re getting better,” HHS coach Pieter Smits said. “With Bishop England being unbeaten and Manning having gone to the Lower State championship last year, we’ve got a long way to go. Georgetown and Waccamaw have only lost three or four times each.”

The Hawks improved to 3-10 on Friday and got a shot in the arm with a 57-47 victory over visiting Cross High School in the inaugural Tint Farm Tip-off Showcase. It was their second win in three games since starting 1-9. The Hawks had edged Bethune-Bowman on Dec. 27.

“I could see our team really start to mature,” Smits said. “They came out strong in the first half. They didn’t come out worried about the opponent. They came out ready to win.”

Hanahan hosts Stratford on Jan. 7 (after press time) and Bishop England on Jan. 10 to begin region play. The Hawks then host Academic Magnet on Jan. 14 and Georgetown on Jan. 17 before finishing the first rotation through the region at Manning on Jan. 21 and Waccamaw on Jan. 24.

Freshman forward Keith Bryant paces the Hawks in scoring at 7.7 points per game, followed by senior forward Trenton Pew (5.4 ppg) and senior guard Chevy Campbell (5.3 ppg).

Senior point guard Jason Albach and sophomore guard Abbott Schultz contribute better than three points a contest.

Bryant, sophomore center Keith Bryant and Albach track down over four boards a game. Albach, a captain, also averages more than two steals and two assists. Pew is second in steals at better than one a game.

Against Cross, Campbell scored a team-high 13 points while Albach, Pew and Bryant added eight points apiece. The Hawks also got after it on the other end of the floor.

“If we continue to play defense and hold people under 50 and then play our style of offense, we’ll be able to compete with a lot of teams,” Smits said.