Yet another opponent found out that giving Myrtle Beach extra opportunities is a recipe for disaster.
When Socastee turned the ball over on four straight possessions to open the second half Tuesday, Craig Martin’s team was off to the races again. The Seahawks turned a seven-point halftime lead into a massive advantage and defeated Socastee 63-45
“You feel the energy,” Myrtle Beach senior Brooks Swanson said. “It’s the same energy we get in practice. It helps the flow of the game.”
Swanson led the Seahawks with 16 points. But this one was again about all the guards Myrtle Beach has. Anthony McNeil had 14, and Graham Vaughn added nine.
Soloman Cooper, typically one of the team’s top scorers, had just two points.
But it didn’t matter.
After outscoring Socastee 23-13 in the third quarter to open up that lead, the Braves had little chance but to start preparing for Wednesday night.
“They turned it up defensively in the third quarter,” Braves coach DeAndre Scott said. “They got into our kids and said ‘you’re not going to score.’ ”
For a good chunk of the game, Myrtle Beach looked every bit of the second-ranked team in the state. The Seahawks are No. 2 in the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Class AAA poll and have their highest regular-season ranking in nearly a decade. Myrtle Beach was the preseason No. 1 in 2007-2008 and won the state title that year, but didn’t have the top ranking during the regular season.
Either way, the trick for the next five games may be ignoring that lofty spot in the polls.
Like the Seahawk girls team, Myrtle Beach is the lone unbeaten team in Region VII-AAA. The Seahawks are a half-game ahead of 5-1 North Myrtle Beach, with those two teams slated to close out the regular season against each other next Thursday.
Before the Seahawks get there, though, they still have road games at Georgetown and St. James this week, as well as home games against Wilson (Monday) and Georgetown (Tuesday).
• SOCASTEE (45) – Dylan Thompson 5, Dante Moore 2, Finn Melko 5, Max Kjosa 5, Tamir Brown 3, Koel Cutler 21, Adarius McCray 4.
• MYRTLE BEACH (63) – Anthony McNeil 14, Tyshame Lewis 7, Graham Vaughn 9, Soloman Cooper 2, Brooks Swanson 16, Malik Waring 2, Coleman Martini 9, Kennis Jenkins 2, D.J. Cooper 2.
• 3-point goals: Socastee 4 (Cutler 4); Myrtle Beach 5 (Brooks Swanson 2, Tyshame Lewis, Graham Vaughn, Coleman Martini). Team fouls: SOC 13, MB 22. Fouled out: Dylan Thompson, Heath Gray. Technical fouls: None.
• Records: Socastee 12-8, 4-2 Region VII-AAA; Myrtle Beach 14-5, 5-0
Myrtle Beach girls remain undefeated in region
That killer instinct Myrtle Beach coach Jennifer Dennison was talking about a couple weeks ago?
The Seahawks may be starting to develop it at the right time.
Myrtle Beach built a double-digit lead and then knocked down most of its free throws in the final minutes to hold off Socastee 52-40 on Tuesday night.
“That was better,” Dennison said. “We were letting them hit a lot of easy shots in the second quarter. Then we switched to man-to-man and started playing better defense.”
Myrtle Beach (10-8 overall, 5-0 region) held Socastee to just seven third-quarter points, a trend during the Seahawks’ six-game winning streak. Unlike some of the other games, though, Myrtle Beach didn’t let this opponent back into the game.
Coupled with 16 points from Kiana Adderton, 11 points from Kyerra Adderton and 10 points from Keocia Walker, the defensive adjustments paid off.
The victory keeps Dennison’s team as the lone unbeaten in Region VII-AAA midway through its 10-game region slate. The Seahawks have a three-game lead in the loss column with five region games remaining. The rest of the region has no more than four region games left after Tuesday’s games.
The Seahawks could clinch the region title as soon as Friday night with wins at Georgetown (Wednesday) and St. James (Friday).
Socastee (12-8, 3-3) is also still alive for a home playoff game. Despite the loss, the Braves are still in a three-way tie with Wilson and North Myrtle Beach for second place in the region.
• SOCASTEE (40) – Maegan Harrelson 10, India Vereen 2, Kira Bell 15, Madison Lowe 8, Shayla Baldwin 5,
• MYRTLE BEACH (52) – Keocia Walker 10, Kyerra Adderton 11, Nia Sumpter 5, Miangle Vaughn 1, Nakia Black 6, Mia Pressley 2, Kiana Adderton 16, Tanya Dennison 1.
• 3-point goals: Socastee none; Myrtle Beach X (Kyerra Adderton 3). Team fouls: SOC 19, MB 13. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.
• Records: Socastee 12-8, 3-3 Region VII-AAA; Myrtle Beach 10-8, 5-0.
Contact IAN GUERIN at email@example.com.