The Myrtle Beach basketball teams better have enjoyed their rest over the course of the last couple days.
They’re going to need it.
Courtesy of weather-related cancellations of school and games on Tuesday and Wednesday being postponed, the Seahawks are going to be playing five games in eight days starting Friday. Four of those games are against Region VII-AAA opponents. So while the Myrtle Beach boys (12-5 overall, 4-0 region) and girls (8-8, 4-0) are currently in first place in the division, much could change in a very short period of time.
It’s a schedule reminiscent of the teams’ holiday tournaments.
“When we were going into Christmas break, we played in the Panther Classic three days in a row, took a day or two off and then played Beach Ball,” Seahawk boys coach Craig Martin said. “We do it just in case something like this happens. These kids nowadays, they play AAU. They’ll play two or three games in a day and several games in a week. They’re accustomed to playing a lot of games in a short amount of time. Years ago when AAU wasn’t that popular, I think it would be a shock to these kids’ systems.”
The biggest difference between now and the holidays or summer leagues, though, is the impact of the games. Myrtle Beach will play at home Friday against Wilson, at home Saturday against Carolina Forest and at home Tuesday against Socastee before heading to Georgetown on Wednesday and St. James next Friday.
As brutal as that schedule seems, Martin and Seahawks girls coach Jennifer Dennison at least have the advantage of a non-region game in the mix of that slate of games. If they so choose, both teams could sit their best players against Carolina Forest on Saturday and few would question the decision.
That’s a luxury Waccamaw coaches Mike Quinn and Robert Burdette don’t have.
The Warriors boys and girls teams will play five Region VIII-AA games in eight days. One of the make-ups stems from Tuesday’s ice-related cancellation. The other comes after Waccamaw had to reschedule its doubleheader against Mullins when Deandre Richardson shattered one of the team’s backboards during a dunk attempt in practice two weeks ago.
The Warriors will head to Mullins on Friday and Dillon on Saturday before playing at home against Loris (Tuesday), Mullins (Wednesday) and Aynor (next Friday). That stretch could make or break Waccamaw’s playoff hopes on both sides.
The boys team (7-7 overall, 1-2 Region VIII-AA) is currently a half-game ahead of Loris for the fourth and final playoff spot in the region. Burdette’s Waccamaw girls are in a similar spot, having gone 1-2 during their first three region contests.
By no means will the rest of the area’s teams have a light schedule in the next eight to nine days. Due to this week’s weather, most will play four region games in that span. Only St. James and Carvers Bay were able to sneak in Monday games prior to weather moving onto the Grand Strand.
Those postponed games and how they are being rescheduled are magnified by the timing. Conway and Waccamaw will play back-to-back region games on Friday and Saturday. Green Sea Floyds has a similar path on Monday and Tuesday. Socastee, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach and Georgetown in Region VII-AAA and Region VIII-AA teams Waccamaw, Loris and Aynor will then play back-to-back region games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
That means playoff berths and potential seeding could be dramatically altered over the course of the rigorous next week or so. It’s something that’s affecting nearly every team in the Myrtle Beach area.
“Whether we’re playing [five games in eight days] or whatever, everybody’s doing it,” Martin said. “It’s not like it’s an unbalanced playing field.”
Contact IAN GUERIN at email@example.com.