High school girls basketball

Myrtle Beach rallies to edge Socastee in a Region VII-AAA win

jbell@thesunnews.comJanuary 11, 2013 

— A lot can go wrong in one quarter, and the Socastee girls basketball team found that out Friday night in a heated matchup against region rival Myrtle Beach.

That quarter turned out to be the last one of the night for the Braves, as the seconds ticked down to give the Seahawks an exciting 34-30 win.

“Sometimes I think in region games it gets a little more personal,” Socastee coach Ginger Ford said. “And we’ve got to learn to push through that part of it and just keep our focus and concentration.”

The Braves seemed to maintain control throughout the first three quarters, establishing an offensive presence that the Seahawks just couldn’t keep up with.

“The turnovers hurt us in the beginning, and just settling down and playing basic basketball,” Myrtle Beach coach Jennifer Dennison said. “Halfway through the third quarter and the fourth quarter, we just picked it up and took over the ballgame.”

Seahawks standout Tanisha Brown scored 16 points, with 13 of those coming in the fourth quarter alone. She also pulled down 13 rebounds to mark her eighth double-double in a row for Myrtle Beach.

“When Tanisha got the ball, that hurt us,” Ford said. “She’s got the size too, and it was hard to defend her in transition.”

Brown proved to be a force, but in Dennison’s mind there are more important aspects to success on the court. The Myrtle Beach defense was able to stall a flourishing Braves offense in the fourth, leading to the narrow win.

“Defense wins games, offense sells tickets,” Dennison said. “I just tell my girls to give it all they’ve got on defense.”

Blake Smith and Kira Bell each finished with nine points in the game for Socastee, while Kirstin Zanardo (8) was the only other player to score more than two points.

With three quarters dominated by Socastee, it appeared to switch from domination to desperation.

“We played a really, really strong, focused first half,” Ford said. “I think we made some bad decisions in the second half, we did not shoot free throws well, especially when it was close and we could have kept our edge. Our transition defense should have been better. I felt like in the end we were playing more just to not lose the game rather than play with some confidence to win the game.”

As far as the Braves are concerned, coach Ford knows what her team is capable of.

“I think we’re playing great defense as a whole,” Ford said. “We have our letdowns but I think we’re playing great defense. We have to be more confident in ways to score. We have good leadership, I think our team chemistry is good, and we have high goals set. We’ve struggled some and then we’ve had some really good games. I think that right there is the most important thing for us right now.”

•  SOCASTEE (30) – Blake Smith 9, Saysay Grant 2, Kira Bell 9, Sydney Wortham 2, Kirstin Zanardo 8

•  MYRTLE BEACH (34) – Kiana Adderton 3, Nakia Black 4, Ta’sheona Chestnut 6, Christina Meyers 5, Tanisha Brown 16.

Myrtle Beach8451734

• 3-point goals: Socastee 2 (Zanardo 2); Myrtle Beach 1 (Adderton). Team fouls: Socastee 13, Myrtle Beach 13. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.

• Records: Socastee (10-5, 1-1 Region VII-AAA); Myrtle Beach (10-6, 2-0 Region VII-AAA).

Contact JOSH BELL at 444-1702.

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