PETTICOAT JUNCTION, S.C. --- Twins Jamie and Kaylin Foreman were born a minute apart in February 1993, though distinguishing between the two does not require much up-close inspection.
Jamie likes to wear her dark hair in twists, while Kaylin lets her hair fall free. The easiest way to tell the two apart, however, is to watch them play basketball, the sport where their different playing styles have helped Silver Bluff win nine of its first 10 games.
Jamie Foreman is a 5-foot-10 forward who is quick enough to attack and defend opposing guards. Kaylin Foreman is a 5-11 post more comfortable playing close to the basket. The juniors are the only Bulldogs scoring in double figures this season.
"They're twins, but they are very, very opposite," coach Robbie McKenzie said. "They have at times in my opinion looked like a couple of the best players in the state. Jamie can play against anybody, guards and bigs ... Kaylin at times can be a dominant post player."
Silver Bluff, even though it made the state semifinals last season, has been one of the area's surprises so far. The Bulldogs are 9-1 heading into tonight's region opener at Ridgeland, which will be their first game since defeating three quality opponents to win a holiday tournament at Evans.
In that tournament, the Bulldogs knocked off Class AAAA Georgia schools Lakeside and Westside-Macon after opening with a 14-point win over Warren County and University of Arizona recruit Candice Warthen. Silver Bluff has not lost since the opening game of the season, a 43-point defeat to Laney that McKenzie called "a young team being thrown into the fire."
Silver Bluff's wins are mostly the result of cohesion among players and coach, not raging program popularity. The Bulldogs do not have a junior varsity team because not enough students tried out. McKenzie had to cut only three players to make up his 14-girl varsity team.
Silver Bluff's success hinges on players who enjoy basketball. The Foremans grew up playing against boys in Beech Island, S.C., and both can run the floor well for players their size.
"Big girls typically don't like to get up and down," said Jamie Foreman, who edges her sister to lead the team in scoring (14.9 ppg) and rebounding (11.6). "We do."
The Foremans also frequently complete each other's sentences, like when they tell you twins are common in their family. Their father has three sets of twins in his family, their mother one.
One of the team's better players as a sophomore, Jamie Foreman missed the team's playoff run last season because of a disciplinary suspension, but she longed to remain connected to the team.
"Even though she missed the playoffs, she showed up at every practice ... she sat on the bench of every game; she was the biggest cheerleader on the bench," McKenzie said. "Never once did I see her have a poor attitude about the situation."
Jamie Foreman said the team is capable of advancing that far again this postseason. The first game of this season, they both agreed, was an aberration on the quality of basketball they have demonstrated in the nine games since.
"Everyone is a lot more together," Kaylin Foreman said. "There is no drama or anything like that."
Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or email@example.com.